101 Changes: Change 20 – Healthy Eating Made Easy

If we try to make huge changes, it is often difficult sustaining it and we have sense of  failure but small changes made slowly becomes habits if done over and over for 21 days. I am writing a series of posts about small changes we can make it our life to make our daily living and health improve tenfold.

These are changes I have made or working on it. Would you like to join with me in this journey?

Check out previous 101 Changes Article: 101 Changes: 101 Changes: Change 19- Do More With Beauty Products

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SAM_0531

Image source Happy Heart and Mind  Cooking at home

One thing I have learned as I am getting older is to take care of my health properly. As a mom of 2 kids, I want to make sure I am healthy enough to keep up with their energy when doing homework with them or taking them to music and sports classes, playing with them.

I am vegetarian so I eat mostly plant and grain based diet but I sure have my moments when I am not eating healthier. Being vegetarian one would think it is healthy, not so. As I have said before, one can be vegetarian eating pizza, potato chips and drink coke or sugar laden drinks; it is vegetarian but it is NOT healthy for sure.

As I am getting older (past 20s and in late 30’s) I am learning how to take care of my health by eating more plant based food and cooking at home. Since I love cooking, it comes easier but there are days, when I simply fall off the health band wagon but I am getting better by buying right groceries and snacks to keep myself motivated to eat healthier.

Here are my top choices for healthy eating:

Green Vegetables: I buy green bell peppers, Kale, Baby spinach, Collard greens, mustard green, Green beans, Thai/Indian long beans, Green squash (Asian groceries store), Dark leafy Salad greens, Broccoli, and use Green herbs such as cilantro for flavors.

Rainbow Veggies: Other than green vegetables, I am focusing on rainbow colors veggies such as carrots, red and yellow bell peppers, Tomatoes, Purple red cabbage, eggplants, radishes (red and large white from Asian store), cauliflower, red onions, sweet potatoes, Olives and so on.

Whole Grains: Being an Indian, I use lot of rice and wheat based grain and flour for cooking. I try to use whole grain as much as possible. Living close to whole foods and trader Joe’s, I have found many new grains (whole, split and flour) such as amarnth, kamut, millet, farro, barley, quinoa and spelt. One can make salad, bread, naan or rotis, savory biscuits from grain or flour. If you can not eat gluten, there are still other choices to eat healthier and still be gluten free.

Eat Fresh Fruits: Eating fresh and in-season fruits is best. In California, there are many farmer’s market that sells fresh fruits from local farmers that are organic. Bananas, Apples, Oranges, Pears, watermelon, Mango, Papaya, Peaches, Apricots make great snacks for kids and adults. I sometimes make dessert, cookies or bread with fresh fruits by looking at online recipes blogs.

Avoid fat free and sugar free: Earlier when I was younger, I thought sugar free and fat free is good and I ate that way. Now, I know better and try to eat good fat, real sugar in moderation. Regular coke always taste better compared to sugar free cola and we know why. Do not be afraid of fat, sugar but eat those food in small quantity, is that simple.

Drink Water: It is okay if you like Wine, juice, Smoothies, shakes or beer. Drinking in moderation is always best practice for any diet. However, drink more water whenever possible as nothing quenches thirst more then cold, fresh water.

Vegetarian Protein: As a vegetarian, I often gets asked about protein in my diet, there is plenty of choices for vegetarian to get required daily protein intake. One of the best vegetarian source for protein is lentils, dried nuts, beans and tofu. There are many soups, stir fries can be made with lentils and tofu. Many think tofu is bland but if you marinate it and cook it right it will be tasty for kids as well.

Take Vitamins: It is always best to take nutrients from fresh and cooked food but sometimes when it is not possible taking daily vitamins may help. Vitamin B12 is hard to find in many vegetables so I try to take vitamins with B12, iron and folic acid to make sure my body’s optimum health.

What To avoid or eat less of:

As I said above, being healthy is not difficult but requires little discipline and planning. Eating or avoiding a few things may improve our health and energy.

  • Avoid meat products, this is more true even if you are meat lover, if you reduce or give up meat products for health or ethical reasons, it may help with your health.
  • Avoid cheesy, fatty food at home or when eating out
  • Avoid fried food such as french fries, dumplings or eat in moderation
  • Avoid or reduce eating refined flour
  • Artificial flavoring, diet food staple from grocery store.
  • Do not eat old food sitting in fridge for more than a few days
  • Do not use plastic to heat up food, use glass container instead
  • Avoid trans fats
  • Do not deprive yourself of any food, just eat less of instead
  • avoid or reduce sugary drinks or alcohols
  • Reduce eating out or take outs
  • Do not read or watch Television when eating, this is one of my worst habit that I am working on fixing it

If you want more plant base food diet, check out these following books;

Product Details

 Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year

This is one of the best book with over 300 healthy plant based recipes. The secret is out: If you want to lose weight, lower your cholesterol, and prevent (or even reverse!) chronic conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, the right food is your best medicine. Thousands of people have cut out meat, dairy, and oils and seen amazing results. If you’re among them—or you’d like to be—you need this cookbook.

Product Details

 The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition

If you are vegetarian, vegan or thinking about eating more plant based diet but wondered what about nutrition?, Where to get nutrients that others get from meat and dairy?, How to spot hidden animal ingredients in packaged foods?, Howto avoid the vegan pitfall of overfed but undernourished?, How to order at restaurants? if you asked these questions, this is right book for you. I have it and I still refer to it when I am in doubt.

How To Stay Fit During Holiday Season

How to Stay fit during any Holidays

Holiday season usually means several parties to celebrate, Thanksgiving feast, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New year among other celebrations! One of the great thing about holidays are get together, eating yummy food and being with family and friends: loved ones. However, I dread January as I tend to gain a bit weight somehow From Diwali, to Thanksgiving, to Christmas and New year eve party and party food. Are you like me? If you are then know what I am talking about. If you do not gain weight, then write quickly and tell us your secret!

There are so many parties during last few months of the year:

  • Office Christmas Party
  • Family gathering
  • Friends parties (Some of us have more than one different gatherings)
  • New year Celebrations

When we had Thanksgiving gathering, where we had so much food, and 5 types of pies, plus more desserts dishes. We shared and ate leftover for days! It sure was fun, but not for my body. I have already plan to make sure my end of year gatherings are fun and healthy both.

That means we will be eating, drinking and be merry! So no wonder when it comes January 1st, we all have new year resolution to lose weight and be fit.

Download my free ebook : Meaningful Holidays (No need for email)

10 tips to staying fit during Holidays

Prevention is always better than a cure, if we are just bit careful on what we eat, we might be able to avoid weight gain that happens to most of good people. I admit it, it is hard for me as I love to cook, I am always cooking and sharing meals or eating out in those gourmet restaurant does not help.

However my biggest problem are my mom who think, that only way can show our love towards each other by finishing their food! And if you say” Mom, I am careful and eating healthy and I can not eat your fried dumpling”, oh the guilt trip she gives, oh my. No one can resist it, not me either, specially when my mom’s cooking is so yummy to me!.

Do you have mom or relative like that? Than you’ll know what I am talking about.

Here are my top ten ways, I am trying to keep my health, fitness and little sanity intact during this holidays. Hope this will help you celebrate meaningful holidays that are healthier.

  1. Eat a healthy snack before going to party. When I host a party, I try to keep some healthier but when I go to my relatives and friend’s party there may or may not be healthy or vegetarian choices so I usually eat a little before going to party and it helps me when I am not famished to choose better food.
  2. Eat more vegetables: Being vegetarian it is easier for me to choose vegetables and fruits but even if you are not vegan or vegetarian, you can choose various vegetable choices with your meat and potatoes to balance out the nutrition and fat.
  3. Skip gravy, cheesy and high fat choices: These gravys, cheese dips and friend snacks are high in fat and if we eat too much, it sure will add to our waist and other places on our bodies. If you can not resist and skip it like me, make sure you take little for taste only. Everything in moderation will be much better thing to do.
  4. Drink more water: Sometimes we are thirsty, no other liquid quenches our thirst like cold glass of water, so drink it through out the day. 8-10 glasses is generally recommended for most people. Added benefit of drinking water is also, that it will keep us hydrated and it is calorie free.
  5. Reduce Alcohol: For some people there can not be celebration without alcohol and that is fine. If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation and always munch some food with your wine or beer so to make sure you do not have hangover next morning.
  6. Please your relative other ways: If you have relatives like mine who insist that if you loved them, you will finish their cheesy and fried dish, you have to be careful to stay healthy and not get fat. You can take little to show you love them and ask them that you loved the food so much you will get take out for home so you can eat it next day as well. They may just be happy enough to pack it for you, and not force you finish it right there. It may just work for you as well.
  7. Less dessert: Not many can skip dessert and I am included in there. Our gathering have lot of sweet dishes such as pies, chocolates pudding, and more. Have little pieces of dessert instead of skipping it all together so you will not have deprived feeling of not having a sweet.
  8. Exercise: Winter time is bad for going out and with many parties with food can be tough on staying healthy. So make an extra effort to exercise, dance and just do lot of walking when you can to keep fit during winter time.
  9. Bring your healthy food to share: If you host a party, make sure you have plenty of healthy choices for you and others who might want to eat healthier along with traditional food choices. If you are going to friend’s party, offer to bring a potluck meal to share which is healthier so if there is nothing you can be sure to eat at least your own food you brought. This has helped me a lot, as a vegetarian I will always have a choice to vegetarian choices and host does not have to go out of her way to make a special meal for me.
  10. Do not worry and enjoy it: Holidays comes once a year so take precautions but if you can not, just enjoy it and do not worry about it much. It is not fun to be party popper who does not join in fun, so do not make it obvious and go with flow.

We all deserve break once in awhile, so have little fun and eat food your aunt made specially for you. Wear that ugly christmas sweater that your mom bought you. Have a laugh and silly fun once in a while!

Why Our Grandkids Will Pay For Our Debt :Infographic

For one of my friend, she has 9 credit cards and I do not know how she juggles all the bills. Credit cards use without control make your life topsy turvy.There are so many dangers of unwisely using credit or credit card. I have one credit card that I use and I try to pay in full every time I can.

If you spend without thinking, that practice can be very costly, financially as well losing mental piece. Here is a nice info-graphic that show you, how you can keep paying the credit card debt, and it will keep increasing instead of going down, thanks to compounding interest rate. Check it out below, and judge for your self.

What is scary thought is, if you paid minimum required on your average debt (current national average number) $10, 679,  in 1000 years your remaining debt will be $212 million and you would have paid $5.1 billion dollars on your little over $10K debt. No wonder many of us keep paying debt and never see the light of the day. Danger of credit card debt is mind boggling and scary.

As no human has ever lived for 100 years, the debt can go in to next generation. Let’s be careful of what you buy today on Credit card, else our grand children and great great grandchildren might pay for our debt.

Source: via: Cracked

101 Changes: Change 12- How To Find What Is Most Important Thing For You?

I am writing a series of 101 small changes that we can make to make the quality of our life better and build and lead a more happier life that is in tune with our heart and mind. These are small changes that I have made and am working on right now, so I know they are possible for anyone to do.

If you have not read previous posts, check out a few posts on the changes from the past:

101 changes: Change 11- How to find your artistic or creative side

101 changes series:

Most Important Thing

Do you know the most important thing in your life? I thought I did. I always knew that being financial independent, healthy, and having a love and care from my family and friends was the best thing for anyone.  I have written about finding core values before, and I am aware that many of us get often overwhelm with life’s chore and things we all must do that leaves little time for anything else.

Only thing was that I was not really following my own personal values. I thought I was doing okay and living the best life until recently. Often time we are too busy, or spend time in “perceived” important things that we may lose sight of what is truly important things in our life and how to make time for those most important things.

  1. A good old and “Tell like It is” friend told me, that I was so engrossed in my writing projects lately to ignore family and friends.
  2. I saw an accident where some stranger lost his life in blink of an eye. Life is too short.

These two events shook me up and made re-look at my priorities again to see truly what is important to me and I wanted to share.

While being financial independent is important to me, I want to make sure I have time for my loved ones and make money without losing my morals and ethics.

How to Make Sure You are Living the Best Life You can Live?

Many of us have many passions and hobbies. Many times we do things because we like it, other times, we do things because we have to; such as working at a job we do not like, so that we can pay bills. There are other things that we must do have no choice such as doing dishes, waking up at middle of night for sick child or sick friend and so on.

While both might be somewhat uncomfortable, second one has more value as it is about people you care about. Yet, many of us will say money is not important and it will not bring long term happiness yet we do things for these job or making money which is not aligned with our own personal core values.

Before we can get anywhere, we must look at within ourselves to see what ticks us, what makes us happy and what are our core personal values are. Once we understand that living and making living choices becomes much easier.

A while ago, I had gone through this exercise but it is important to follow up and see if they still hold true.

How to find out your True Personal Value?

While our priorities may change with time, our inner core personal values generally tend to stay constant. The best way I have found to find a personal core value is through following steps;

Step 1: Look through list of Values you think that describes you. If you need help with list of Values, here are some example.

  • Accomplishment
  • Success
  • Accountability
  • Adventure
  • Peace
  • Beauty
  • Commitment
  • Community
  • Connection
  • Improvement
  • Creativity
  • Decisiveness
  • Democracy
  • Justice
  • Peace
  • Happiness
  • Faithfulness
  • Equality
  • Diversity
  • Compassion
  • Family
  • Freedom
  • Friends
  • Financial
  • Honesty
  • Independent
  • Leadership
  • Loyalty
  • Love
  • Knowledge
  • Money
  • Personal Growth
  • Wealth
  • Resourceful
  • Respect
  • Quality
  • Security
  • Status
  • Trust
  • Wisdom
  • Unity
  • Legacy

There are more choices of personal values, if you need more personal value suggestions, but I have found this to be top best choices that work with most of the people.

Step 2:  Pick 10 Values that you think describes you well. This step is longest as it requires deep thinking from within. Take your time, there is no rush.

Step 3: Once you have narrowed it down to 10 values, select top 5 values. Why? Because it is easier to go from 10 to 5 choices compared to many to 5 choices. Once you have these 5 values, that is what your values are.

Step4: Before making any decision, on a new job or new change of any sort, go through your top 5 values to see if that aligns with your core values.

Try not to do things that are not in your core values, even if monetary rewards are high. Why? Have you seen some people they have money and things that money can buy but they do not seem to enjoy it and seem unhappy? I am guessing, it is most likely because of inner core value conflict.

Just imagine living the best life you can be, when you are living conscious, value driven life and career that is meaningful to your own personal values!

 Also see:

How to find personal Value : Part 1

How to find personal value : Part 2

101 changes: change 13: Reduce eating fast food and eat healthy

Zengirl

How To Create A Life That Does Not Need To Escape From: Part 1

Image Source: elizabethmchristian.blogspot.com

Endless Vacation? Life that does not need an escape is possible or just a dream?

Many of us are living stressed and chaotic life that we look forward to one day retire and enjoy the fruit of our hard work. We look forward to going on vacation. Many of us dread Sunday evening or Monday Morning, when another work day starts.

Would you like to escape this and enjoy endless vacation? Who would not, and even though it may seem impossible, it is not hard to create a life that does not need an escape from. We can start living the life right now with little planning and habit changes. Once we are aware of life purpose, life becomes lot easier to live.

Just like when we want to lose weight, we go on diet. We lose weight and get back to regular way of eating to find we are gaining weight again. We do not need diet plans, what we need is lifestyle change of eating healthy most of time with indulging in our cravings once in awhile. The same way works for life and endless vacation, we need to make life style changes. It is not an instant change, it takes some time and effort to make these habit changes but it works. I am working on it myself for sometimes and I am making a big progress towards it and life sure feels much simpler and peaceful.

5 simple steps to Start Living Life that Does not need an Escape from.

1. Do Something You Love and Enjoy.

If you ask people, if they enjoy their work and many will answer “It pays the bills”. That is sure way to kill passion. While it is not easy to start making money from what you love, (I am prime example, I have made $14 in 2 years here but I sure enjoy writing and sharing my journey here).  Do something you love even when you do not get paid is ultimate feeling, while we need to make enough money to survive and meet out basic needs. We can do something we like while we are working in dreadful job situation or looking for a job in tough economy, such as volunteering, painting, singing, dancing, reading, teaching or helping others in something you already know.

2. Reduce and simplify Wants

If you really want to do something you love and make living, it can be tough at the start because of the money needed to pay bills and keep the life living standards one maybe used to living. However, if we reduce our wants to basic needs and some more, it is possible to live off in less income or money. No, I am not talking about being or feeling deprived, that will simply not work.

We all need simple basic needs such;

Shelter: A place to live, place to call home. It does not need to be large. One does not have to have 3000 square foot house with swimming pool to be happy, we all can live in lot less space and still have plenty privacy. Many people in other countries and some minimalist in USA are living in 500 square foot living space and functioning well.

See Thoreau’s cabin redux: tiny homes and happiness

Clean Water: We all need clean water to drink everyday. We are far more luckier then many people in world, who gets clean tap water in US. There are lot of filtration tools to filter the water you get in your tap. One does not need fancy bottle water, soda or sugar laden juices to live. Actually just drinking plain clean water will help with health benefits and giving uo soda and juices may make you lose some weight in return.

Food: We all need food to survive and live. Most healthiest food is vegetables and fruits which can be eaten raw or cooked simply at home in short time. One does not need fancy or expensive gourmet wine or cheeses to live, it would be wonderful occasionally but everyday simple meals will do your more good. Eating out everyday is expensive and unhealthy. I love cooking simple meals at home that can be cooked in 30 minutes or sometimes I like to use pressure cooker to cook up beans and lentils to make yummy and healthy soups or daals. It is a win-win for money and our waist line.

Clothing: Clothing is essential part of human lives, we need warm clothes in winter and simple cotton clothes in hot summer. One can buy good quality clothes at various stores, garage sale and goodwill stores. Designer clothing or brand names are not needed to look stylish, or you can find brand names clothes in thrift shop or outlet store for much cheaper price. If you can sew or mend clothing that is an extra bonus. I simply am not good at sewing and I have bought a sewing machine to improve my non-existing domestic sewing skills someday.

Entertainment: We human being like to entertained and get entertained as well. There are many free or cheap ways to go about amusing ourselves. One can rent movies or borrow movies from library instead of watching it in theater. If you must have a theater experience, you can see in morning time to get some discount. In summer time, there are many programs are offered free such as movie nights, music concerts, festivals, garden tours, theater previews shows and so on. If you like to read books as I do, you can always borrow from library and buy it only if you love it.  Going to park, playing board games such as monopoly is not only entertaining but also educational. You can host a pot luck at home, instead of going out in restaurants. I used to love hosting movie and dinner nights at home before we had kids.

3. Be Compassionate

You may think what being compassionate has to do with life that does not need an escape from, but it has lot to do with it. When we are kind and compassionate towards other human being, other lives, it gives us inner happiness or content glow that comes only when we are truly enjoying the life. When we harbor hurt, anger and hate inside, we will be unhappy even in most lavish resort. While giving up all hurt is not easy, but we can surely try to reduce as much as we can and be kind to others and ourselves everyday.

4. Letting Go

Many of our misery and disappointment comes from unmet expectation from others. While, we have most expectations from our loved ones, they tend to hurt us or disappoint us the most. The best way to tackle this is to have no expectation or little expectation from others. It just leads to nowhere. Many of us, tend to do and behave on what works best for us, so let them. Someone does not owe us happiness, love, gifts or gratitude. One of the most thing I have hard time letting go is rudeness and thoughtlessness that people show but I am working on it. No one owes me gratitude or thoughtfulness. We should do things because it pleases us and not for others.

5. Do not compare

When I was growing up, I thought I had everything and did not miss anything because as a young child I did not used to compare my things with others. However, it changes when I was in high school and it lead to myself feeling bad even though I had more than before.

Comparing kids behavior, spousal behavior and even worse fictional book or movie characters with someone you love, will only end up in disappointment. When R was young, he did not slept through the night like kids in movie where they sleep by themselves in a crib, I was sleep deprived and sad until I realized movie scenes where infant sleeps by themselves are fiction or at least very rare.

I love Austen and romance novels of past, so naturally I love Mr. Darcy and Captain Wentworth and Mr. Thronton but comparing them with Zenguy is futile thing to do but I have done it in past. I have come to realize that why to compare when I am myself not like Elizabeth Bennet, Anne Elliot or Ms. Hale, these are fictional characters.

There are always someone who will be more beautiful, handsome, richer, smarter and fitter then us and then there will be a few who are not. Why compare? Just compare yourself with yourself of past and make a better future yourself for tomorrow.

Summary:

While we can not always choose many aspects of life, we can choose our habits to make simple and small changes such as above to create a lifestyle that will be like a vacation like while living at home. So go ahead and start creating a life that does not need an escape from today.

Check out 2nd Part of the series: Creating a life that does need an escape: Part 2

101 Changes: Change 10 – Eat like a Vegetarian: Benefits of Vegetarian Diet

101 changes is a series of articles for making a small changes in our life slowly to live and feel better.

I am writing a series of 101 small changes that we can make to make the quality of our life better and build and lead a more happier life that is in tune with our heart and mind. These are small changes that I have made and am working on right now, so I know they are possible for anyone to do.

If you have not read previous posts, check out a few posts on the changes from the past below:

Related 101 changes posts:

101 changes: Change 1- Reduce Drinking Soda

101 changes: Change 2: Getting to email Zen

101 changes: Change 3: Slow down- Slow blogging movement

101 changes: Change 4 – Plant something

101 changes: Change 5 – Smile when you wake up

101 changes: Change 6:: Read a book – Benefits of reading

101 changes: Change 7 – Watch less Television and Be more productive

101 changes: Change 8 – Stretch your comfort zone

101 changes: Change 9:  Drink to your health- Benefits of Drinking Tea

———————————————————————————————————————————————– Many people are turning vegetarian for various reasons now a days, such as health and ethical reasons. I have been vegetarian all my life, so it is easy for me to say but do not take my word for it.  If you have thought about vegetarian diet and was not sure, this may just help you make decision.  Being vegetarian or eat mostly vegetarian diet has many benefits.

Let’s see 25 reasons being vegetarian is good for you and environment around you. While all diets have its pros and cons. One can eat soda and chips all day and be a Vegetarian but that would not be healthy diet.

Benefits of Vegetarian Diet

  1. Plant base food does not contain cholesterol. Meat food are generally high in cholesterol.
  2. Except of vitamin B, plant food contains all vitamins.
  3. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, improving digestion in body. High fiber diet is helpful in preventing certain type of cancer.
  4. Lower blood pressure: Plant based food have low sodium and low in fat, reducing low blood pressure and blood circulation.
  5. Meat based food tend of high in fat compared to plant based food. Less calories, less chance of being fat.
  6. Less chemical and hormones: Many animals are raised with antibiotics and growth hormones, generally plant based food have no hormones injected in to it.
  7. Plant based food have good energy booster carbohydrates, which is essential for energy. That is many carb free diet such as atkins required that one eat mostly meat to avoid carb. Good carb from rice is better, compared to carb from white bread or sugar.
  8. While animals and plants are both exposed to herbicides and pesticides, according to some experts, plant contains less of these agricultural chemical compared to animals who are exposed to it. Best case, choose organic plant food to be safe.
  9. More healthier to eat plant based diet such as colorful fruits and vegetables to prevent obesity, cancers, and type 2 diabetes.
  10. One of the reason many people eat meat is for getting protein. However, in western diet, people consume way more protein than daily requirement anyways. Plant based diet, one will have enough protein through beans, lentils and nuts.
  11. Healthy skin glow: eating tomatoes and certain vegetables gives healthy skin and healthy glow.
  12. Plant based diet tend to be cheaper compared to meat and seafood in grocery stores and restaurants. You will save money as well.
  13. Many forests are being destroyed to raise livestock as needing space to raise them until animals are ready to be slaughter.
  14. Efficient use of soybeans and other grains can be done as it has been said, 16 pounds of soybeans is being fed to cow to get 1 pound of beef. That is simply does not make sense.
  15. It takes about 80 calories of fossil fuel to create 1 pound of beef, versus 1 calorie fossil fuel to create 1 pound of corn. We can save lot of fossil fuel by demanding more grains.
  16. We can save much water as it takes up 5-10 times more water to produce meat compared to plant food.
  17. Ethically, animals are kept in small and inhumane condition. They are fed growth hormones, chemicals to make them grow big for profit. It simply does not work for some people. Even so called free range meat has its own issues as there are not strict standards for what is meant to be “free range” or “humane” meat.
  18. When plants based food going bad such as fruits or vegetables (uncooked), so one does not have to cook it. However, with frozen meat, you can never tell if animal was sick or had issue before consuming it.
  19. Meat is hardly fresh as it comes in frozen section, fruits, vegetable can be eaten frozen as well as fresh such as in salad.
  20. You can leave fresh vegetable out for day or two on counter and it will be still edible but leave hambuger patty out for 6 hours and see one you want to consume. Plants have longer shelf life outside of freezer.
  21. Plant based food tend to help with health issues such as heart attack, cancer, kidney stones and gallstones, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, gum disease and more.
  22. When you buy in factory farmed meat, we indirectly support these inhumane conditions that animals are raised and killed.
  23. Many plants can be eaten without killing the plants with exception of eating of root vegetables.
  24. More conscious and natural eating.
  25. Human does not have to eat meat to survive like many other living being. Many vegan and vegetarian are living proof of it.

We are what we eat, it has been said by many before myself. If that is true, why not eat healthy, nutritious food that gives us energy, life, ethical and sustainable to our environment. In this life time, we have only one body and one earth, let’s keep it simple and disease free. Only you can make choice what works for you and how you want to live. I am simply sharing what worked for me and many others who are vegan and vegetarian for many reasons. What are yours reasons?

Resources for Vegetarians (Potential, New and Current)

Becoming Vegetarian: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Vegetarian Diet

This 262 pages long book,  Becoming Vegetarian is a comprehensive and up-to-the minute guide to achieving a healthful vegetarian lifestyle. Written by three highly qualified dietitians, all of the key questions which arise for those who are beginning a dietary shift away from animal products are addressed, as well as those questions long term vegetarians have who want to ensure that their dietary pattern is nutritionally adequate.

 

Your Vegetarian Pregnancy : A Month-by-Month Guide to Health and Nutrition

I had two successful vegetarian pregnancy, so I know it is possible. Here is a perfect book for those who might be wondering about vegetarian pregnancy issues in 400 pages book. The author covers everything from protein requirements to labor pains and nursing positions, with a zeal for the vegetarian diet that canseem almost passionate. Must read for those who are pregnant and curious about being vegetarian, yes you can have successful vegetarian pregnancy.

For other Vegetarian information check out following sites;

Vegetarian Nutrtion from Wikipedia

Vegetarian Cuisine from Around the world.

7 Vegetarians share where they protein: Video

Holy Cow Vegan Recipes

 

101 Changes: Change 9 – Drink to your Health: Benefits of Drinking Tea

I am writing a series of 101 small changes that we can make to make the quality of our life better and build and lead a more happier life that is in tune with our heart and mind. These are small changes that I have made and am working on right now, so I know they are possible for anyone to do.

If you have not read previous posts, check out a few posts on the changes from the past:

101 changes: Change 4 – Plant something
101 changes: Change 5 – Smile when you wake up
101 changes: Change 6:: Read a book – Benefits of reading
101 changes: Change 7 – Watch less Television and Be more productive
101 changes: Change 8 – Stretch your comfort zone

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Tea has been around for many centuries around world and loved in countries like China, India, England and other places. Tea drinking has been always connected with well-being, restoration, and regeneration of cells. Many people are just starting the see and feel the benefits of drinking tea. Drinking tea has been linked to fighting cavities to Parkinson’s disease. After all, we all got only one body and one life and health is true wealth.

In India, where I am from, it is a custom to drink tea for breakfast and one in afternoon after nap (Yes, adults take naps too, although India is changing fast to become more like western world). Many of us in America, are drinking coffee and soda with meals. While there is nothing wrong with it, tea drinking has many more benefits, let’s explore more.

Zenguy makes a best chai, if you like to know how to make best chai at home you can click here : How to make best chai tea at home post.

  1. Less Caffeine than Coffee: While I love my coffee occasionally, tea has far less caffeine in it. Coffee has usually two or three times more caffeine than tea. Little caffeine is okay and might be beneficial but too much caffeine can harm our heart and body organs. Drinking too much coffee can give you jittery feeling, headaches and sleeplessness compared to drinking tea.
  2. Tea has Antioxidant benefits: Many of us are aware of antioxidants can help us in slowing down the aging process, and regenerate and repair our body cells. Some studies shows that antioxidants can prevent cancer as well. Well, give me a cup right now!
  3. Can be great for dehydration: While I think water is always the best for dehydration, tea drinking comes close to it. Compare to sugary juices and soda, tea can be a great thirst quencher and can keep you hydrated as long as you do not load it with too much sugar.
  4. Tea can reduce your stomach cramps: Some property of tea can act as an anti-spasmodic agent and allowing it to aid in the relief of stomach cramps. I have seen it used to calm a colic infant in some culture.
  5. Tea can help with heart disease and cholesterol: More and more studies in recent times have shown that black tea and green tea can be helpful preventing blood clots to help you with heart disease and stroke reduction as well as cholesterol.
  6. Tea helps your teeth: Too many jokes of British drinking tea with bad teeth may make you think otherwise (I personally think in US, we are way obsessed over whiten teeth), but actually tea contains fluoride and tannin which helps teeth decay and reduces plaque in teeth.
  7. Tea is Calorie Free: If you see thin Japanese and Chinese people you can see why, because plain tea is calorie free. Many Indians do not come in this category (Myself included) as we Indians like our tea with Milk, Sugar and spices which adds some calories. If you drink plain black Jasmine and green tea, it is calorie free and can help you with weight maintenance.
  8. Tea can keep your skin Acne-Free: Antioxidants in tea seems to help people with acne problems and keep skin smooth. Tea is also much more natural compared to benzoyl peroxide to treat acne, which is harsher chemical. I did not know about this benefit until I did research to write this article.
  9. Tea can flight flu and Infections: Studies have shown that people who gargled with black tea extract twice a day, were much more immune to flu virus compared who did not. Tea contains chemicals called alkylamine antigens which act similarly to some tumor cells and bacteria, boosting the body’s immune response.
  10. Tea can help bad breath. A study at the University of Chicago has suggested that the polyphenols in tea can help to keep the bacteria that causes bad breath in check. Sounds good to me.

In addition to these benefits, many studies have shown many medicinal effect of drinking black or green tea. Some studies have shown tea reduces or helps with HIV, metabolic rate, lowering blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, cancer, arthritis, diabetes and much more. You do not have to take my word for it, you can find it out for yourself.

Health effect of tea: Wikipedia You can read more about health benefits of tea drinking here.

A few Chai to try out:

  • ORGANIC INDIA ORGANIC CHAI MASALA TULSI TEA. Tulsi black tea and chai spices make the perfect exotic chai that stimulates your senses and soothes your soul. Add milk or nondairy milk and a touch of sweetener for a delicious authentic India experience:.
  • NUMI TEA 18 BAG ORGANIC GOLDEN CHAI BLACK TEA. This chai delight blends Assam tea with worldly spices. This rich infusion has a complex hearty flavor evoking a warm balance between the spices.

 

Special Chai Mug:  Enjoy your flavor tea bag with our double wall insulated Connoisseur Chai Mug. Highpolished stainless steel exterior has a contemporary look. Insulated lid keeps your favorite Chai hot or cold longer. Tea leaves strainer is designed for the Chai connoisseur. 18/8 stainless steel Double Wall Insulation Insulated Lid Tea Leaves Strainer

If you already a tea drinker then you already know how beneficial it is. If you have not tried it yet, get out of your comfort zone a little and taste tea today!

Also check out 10 ways to simplify your health and Health and Wealth Connection

Your turn: What type of tea do you usually drink? Do you like Chai-tea?

101 changes: Change 1- Reduce Drinking Soda

101 changes: Change 2: Getting to email Zen

101 changes: Change 3: Slow down- Slow blogging movement

101 changes: Change 4 – Plant something

101 changes: Change 5 – Smile when you wake up

101 changes: Change 6:: Read a book – Benefits of reading

101 changes: Change 7 – Watch less Television and Be more productive

101 changes: Change 8 – Stretch your comfort zone

101 changes: Change 9:  Drink to your health- Benefits of Drinking Tea

101 changes: Change 10: Bring out the artist in You AKA be creative

101 changes: Change 8 – Stretch Your Comfort Zone

I am writing a series of 101 small changes that we can make to make the quality of our life better and build and lead a more happier life that is in tune with our heart and mind. These are small changes that I have made and am working on right now, so I know they are possible for anyone to do.

If you have not read previous posts, check out a few posts on the changes from the past:

101 changes: Change 4 – Plant something
101 changes: Change 5 – Smile when you wake up
101 changes: Change 6:: Read a book – Benefits of reading
101 changes: Change 7 – Watch less Television and Be more productive

What is Comfort Zone? According to Wikipedia, The comfort zone is a behavioral state within which a person operates in an anxiety free condition, using a limited set of behaviors to deliver a steady level of performance, without risk.

We all have our comfort zone, where we excel, where do things that we know perfectly. It gives us confidence, it boosts our ego. There is nothing wrong with it, but with time our comfort zone may start to grow smaller and smaller. Some of us are afraid to try out new things, new experience out of fear; fear of failing, fear of unknown. It keeps us from achieving our best. You may know the feeling? I know as I have been there before and I occasionally have to work on my out of boundary thinking to get me going. I want to share a small impromptu poem that I wrote about Comfort zone. Hope you like it.

My Comfort Zone: Poem by Zengirl

I once was happy in my small comfort zone cloud

Where I was happy and knew things inside out.

Where I had no fear of failing

as I kept doing things over and over almost got tiring

I felt master of routine but felt torn inside

I wanted to push the boundary to be outside

Try new things, new experience

Without anyone’s interference

As my Small comfort zone felt like jail

Instead of place of no-fail

I leaped and stretched my comfort zone

I left six figure job to be home

Be home with my family and kids chatter

Where success or money did not matter

If you are stuck in comfort zone

Where you are good at what you do

But feel stuck and unhappy a bit

Try Stretching a boundary bit

If you will be glad you did.

Take my word and just do it.

It will make your heart and mind more lit.


Some of the great quotes on Comfort Zone by Wise People

If you remain in your comfort zone you will not go any further.
-Catherine Pulsifer

Comfort zones are most often expanded through discomfort.
-Peter McWilliams

We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.
-Max DePree

A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.
– Lao-Tzu

We shall have no better conditions in the future if we are satisfied with all those which we have at present. -Thomas Edison

One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.
-Abraham Maslow

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.
-Seneca

A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what a ship is built for.
-Unknown

Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.
-Brian Tracy

Comfort zones are most often expanded through discomfort.
-Peter McWilliams

A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.
-Denis Waitley

Every moment of one’s existence one is growing into more or retreating into less.
-Norman Mailer

Progress always involves risk; you can’t progress to second base and also keep your foot on first.
-Christie Mason

We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.
-Max DePree

If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness.
-Les Brown

10 ways to Stretch your Comfort Zone

  1. Travel to new country and hang out where locals hang out.
  2. Eat new ethnic food you have never tried before: For example, try Ethiopian Cuisine
  3. Try Ballet Dancing, or watch a Ballet Dance performance
  4. If you are a guy, watch a chick Flick like Pride and Prejudice
  5. If you are girl, try changing a tire (Note to self: do it)
  6. Volunteer at Food Pantry or Shelter
  7. Try smiling even when you are having a bad day
  8. Jump in Rain like kids, even when someone is watching
  9. Try sitting alone in peace for 15 minutes doing nothing
  10. Give your to-do list a off day! Do nothing day but enjoy.

Your turn: How do you stretch your comfort zone? Are you happy with one you have? Why?

What is the Personal Development Campfire?
This post is also my contribution to Comfortzone Campfire. Imagine all your favorite personal development bloggers gathered around a campfire. Campfires are great center pieces of relaxed and free flowing conversations. Think of all the wonderful conversations and the wealth of topics that might arise. That’s the idea behind the Personal Development Campfire. Your favorite bloggers all gathered together discussing a new topic every month. (Bloggers click here for details on participating in the Personal Development Campfire.)

3 entries so far… you’re next!


  1. Eden Journal
  2. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone (Video)
  3. Heart and Mind: Comfort Zone
    You are next…

Click here to enter

Image Source:

Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

101 changes: Change 1- Reduce Drinking Soda

101 changes: Change 2: Getting to email Zen

101 changes: Change 3: Slow down- Slow blogging movement

101 changes: Change 4 – Plant something

101 changes: Change 5 – Smile when you wake up

101 changes: Change 6:: Read a book – Benefits of reading

101 changes: Change 7 – Watch less Television and Be more productive

101 changes: Change 8 – Stretch your comfort zone

101 changes: Change 9:  Drink to your health- Benefits of Drinking Tea

101 changes: Change 10: Bring out the artist in You AKA be creative