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TRICHY MARATHON 2018 Let’s recognize the ‘uncelebrated’ heroes:

Kudos to CII & Yi for conducting the Trichy Marathon 2018. It was conducted in Boston Marathon style with only the best runners being recognized in the Men and Women section. But runners in Boston Marathon have to fulfill certain criteria. They need to provide an evidence of having run a full marathon in three and a half hour to qualify for this event.

Alas! this Marathon had no selection criteria and the assemblage was from five year old to septuagenarians (70 years). How could you expect these two extremes to beat out the robust twenty year old? I believe that these categories should have been recognized at least for their effort.

In the medley I noticed two people, very young at heart. Mr Jayaraj is seventy years old and hails from Kumbakonam. He had come to Trichy specifically for this event and completed a 21k run. He has already given permission to the Pondicherry JIPMER hospital to take his organs after his demise.

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The other gentleman is our own Trichy hero. Mr Ramasubramaniam, a retired General Manager from ONGC. He is 68 years young. When I asked him how he felt after the completing 21k, he quipped – “it’s just a half marathon. Last month I ran a complete marathon in Hyderabad.”

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These are the unsung heroes of yesterday’s event. They can be a huge inspiration for the youngsters.I have a humble request, that the people of different age groups are appreciated for their effort in future marathons / sports events.

Let us also appreciate Trichy Athma hospital, which conducted a 5k Charity Run last week for giving away prizes in many categories, though they were not heavily sponsored.

I have two suggestions:

  1. There is a term called BYOD – which means ‘bring your own device’. Computer geeks understand this and take their own laptop to the conferences. Why can’t we also have ‘BYOW – bring your own water’? Twenty years ago, we used to carry our own water but have become lazy since then. Can we go back to our old ways and strap a water bottle around us instead of littering the road with plastic and paper cups in the name of running a marathon?
  2. Dr B M Hegde suggested, we have run for heart, liver, kidney and breast, but we don’t have any run for ‘NIDS – Nutritional Insufficiency and Deficiency Syndrome.’ Most of the people in the world die because of a disease called ‘poverty’ (lack of nutrition). But no one creates awareness for the same, as poverty (nutrition) does not attract sponsorship the way heart, liver, kidneys and breast do. Can like minded people get together and think of a RUN purely to create awareness and totally devoid of business objectives?

Can conscientious citizens wake up?

Email at: sivakumar1814@yahoo.com

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TO SHOW RESTRAINT OR NOT – PLEASE SUGGEST

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Whenever you have a doubt, share your thoughts with some wise men. I had to ponder over this yesterday.

I remember as a 12-year-old, I had an argument with my uncle. To put my point across, I raised my voice. My father who was in the next room rushed to the scene of altercation and gave me a resounding slap and said,

“Don’t you talk to elders like that!”

Right from that time, I have been conditioned to show restraint. These are the guidelines that I have been programmed to follow.

  1. When you meet elders, prostrate before them.
  2. Learn to say ‘sir’ to people who are even a day older than you.
  3. Always learn to respect professions – never call a doctor by his or her name.
  4. Keep your hands folded before the people of authority (including government servants of lower ranks) and never dare take a seat in front of them.
  5. Always respect your bosses and stand up when they enter the room.

Being brought up in this school of thought, I am aghast when my daughter who is a teenager refuses to stand up and bow down to authority. When asked to touch the feet of elderly people, she wants to check their competency levels. She even has the audacity to thump doctors and lawyers on their back and call them by their first names. She refuses to greet government servants stating they are the cause of ills in the society. Once in the High Court, she sat cross-legged even as judges walked past her while we stood with our hands folded and heads bowed, so as to avoid eye contact. Even in training programmes, she only sits and asks questions.

Somewhere in the deep dark recesses of my mind, I can hear my father’s voice say – ‘Give her a tight slap and advice her on how to respect authority.’ There is an urge in me to control her, tame her and show her how to live life according to the dictates of the society. But I show restraint.

Will my child be able to meet the challenges of the dog-eat-dog corporate world with my kind of a meek mindset?

If she has to study abroad, which she desires to – will my projection of cultural conditioning help her in her cause?

Will my child have to endure life with the thought that she was born as a woman?

Will she have to live life in the constant fear of not upsetting the ‘babus’ and pass through life as a non-entity like me, who could never speak up?

A part of me says beat the hell out of her and transform her into a typical Indian woman but another side cries out – Stop! Show restraint. 

by Sivakumar

Email at: sivakumar1814@yahoo.com

Is being a vegetarian ‘Good for Health’ – (The 5 dangerous foods & why?)

salat teller

Even uttering the above statement would be considered blasphemy. I belong to an ultra conservative vegetarian community. Our grandfathers smoothly sailed through to the mid 80s and early 90s. Our grandmothers popped out a little earlier (probably because they could not endure the strain of their husbands). Our grandmothers averaged out 8 kids a piece. Study needs to be done on the correlation between the number of babies and longevity.

So if a vegetarian formula has effectively worked out for generations then why even discuss about it. Getting 80 years in the bargain is worth its while. I had been a diligent vegetarian for four decades. Though I occasionally sinned having eggs now and then . In the early part of my years, I frequented upon fish (being born and brought up in Bengal, fish is considered as vegetarian and is consumed even by the local Brahmins there). With such a regime, I should not have been a candidate for a metabolic disorder (Diabetes).

In this excerpt I wish to share with you some of the trappings which later on required a course correction. I will be focussing on the three deadly Is:

  1. Inflammation
  2. Insulin Resistance (obesity) and
  3. Immunity (auto immune disorders)

I will be running the basic foods; rice, wheat, corn and soy, legumes and fruits across the three Is and you have to discern for yourself.

  1. Rice – we live it, breathe by it. Every day for nearly half a century, I had 3 cups of white rice. Little did I know that it has a Glycemic Index (G.I) of 65, which is worse than table sugar. I was also not aware that the rice mills steal the fibre, vitamins and minerals and substitute it with taste. Hence, “I was hung by the tongue” and happily spiking away my insulin, which saw to it that my visceral fat (tummy) was protected for nearly four decades.

Had somebody suggested brown rice instead, at least I would have a Glycemic Index of 55 and my metabolic activity would have been much better. I would have also got an extra dose of B3 (good for my cell function), Selenium (good for my thyroids and kidneys) and Gaba (a neurotransmitter which helps with good sleep, less anxiety and better metabolism). I wish to sue these plotters who have brought in a universal consumption of white rice.

Hence, full points to white rice for Insulin spikes (obesity and inflammation).

Rice presents another danger – phytates. Now what are “Phytates”? These are poisons within the plants which thwart the animals from consuming them. This is the defence mechanism of plants thus ensuring their sustainability. I understood that when we consume rice, these phytates act as mineral blockers and prevent our gut from absorbing vital nutrients which are essential for cellular functions.

Is there a way out?

Yes! There is – rice has to be soaked, sprouted and germinated to get the “dirty phytates” away. The Chinese call this “Kanji” (Qi – Chi stands for life energy).

Trivia – parboiled rice uses pressure and force to push the Vitamins and Minerals from the husk to the grains and is considered the healthiest form of rice with a G.I of 30. Dr.Michael Greger a strong proponent of the vegan diet states that brown rice consumption reduces HsCRP (Cardiac Inflammation markers).

2. Wheat – Noah, the Biblical character sustained his compatriots through bread. Jesus and Moses have spoken about bread, then how could this life sustaining product become inimical.

The story ensues – wheat during Biblical times was known as Emmer and had 28 chromosomes. Now what is similar to an African woman, an Alaskan lady and a Caucasian female? Answer – they all have 46 chromosomes. If the chromosomes in the Caucasian female are altered to 69 then how would she look like? She would resemble a Dinosaur with the horns of a Rhino, the body of a orangotan and tail of a serpent. Women by nature are scary but this transformation would be horrifying – isn’t it?

This is exactly what happened in the case of wheat. The excess population and demand for food led to geneticist Dr.Norman Borlaug (Father of Green Revolution) to create a new strain of wheat which would yield ten times its predecessors. In the process, the seeds were put through gamma rays and sodium azide (mutagen). What came out was monsters which we today call as wheat.

So what, Punjabis and the hatta khatta North Indians swear by it. Our pehalwans consume it by the dozens with desi ghee. Could it be all that bad? Let me enlist some of the dangers I came across.

  1. White bread has a G.I of 69, table sugar is 65. Guess what whole wheat – 72 is. Sticker bars with G.I of 41 would make you less fat. Wheat contains amilopectin and our saliva (amylase) would create instantaneous insulin spikes when getting in contact with the wheat products.

This is a formula I had long memorized:

more blood sugar = more insulin = insulin resistance = belly

What is belly? It is Inflammation of white cells which gets converted to fatty acids (pus) which fills our stomach. So if I wish to carry more pus in my stomach, I could consume more wheat. The wheat of today has twice the calories and hence is a sure fire way of adding 400 – 500 calories to our diet on daily basis. No wonder – we see gargantuan youngsters across the world. Thanks to an overdose of Naan, Parathas, Cakes, Chapatis, bread and others, we are becoming a heavier world.

So wheat is a guarantee towards increasing obesity and inflammation.

I read that wheat has a million other vices like Lectins and Gluten, but before I put an end to ranting against wheat, I wish to share one final bit of information.

Schizophrenics can never be themselves; they can never connect with others. They constantly hallucinate and hear voices. Remove wheat (Gliadin) from their appetite and they become better.

3. Corn & Soy – Fortunately this is not a major crop in India but it makes more than 50% of the crops in the USA and 90% of it is genetically modified. It contains Glyphosate which interrupts the Endocrine system and is alleged to be the cause of Autism. It also leads to Endocrine disruption and can shoot up Thyroid disorders.

A few no nos (never touch them even with a barge pole)

  • Monsanto products – they are worse than the tobacco lobby but have insured themselves against future disasters, thanks to the Obama administration.
  • HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) – they are hiding everywhere, right from your pickles, jams, ketchup, syrups, juice concentrates and corn oil. They are the prime cause of obesity crisis, a story that we could discuss later.
  • NEVER TOUCH ISOLATE PROTEIN POWDERS – they cause cancers especially breast cancer.

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4. Beans – we have grown up with rajma, chole, dry peas, moong dal and urad dal etc… In a popular TV show in Japan, these beans were ground in the raw state, sprinkled over food and given to a thousand audiences. Almost all of them vomited and had diarrhoea. The reason was ‘Lectins’. They lodge themselves in the GI (gastrointestinal tracts) . They clump with other food substances and jam up the villi (tubes for absorption in the intestines). This leads to poor absorption of food, GERD, auto immune diseases and FODMAPS (indigestion problems). Moreover, they along with phytates reduce iron and zinc absorption.

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Positive note on Lectins and Phytates:

  • Interesting study shows that Lectins limit tumour growth and reduce obesity. They also have the capacity to distinguish between cancer cells and good cells and extinguish cancer cells.
  • Phytates have been shown to prevent kidney stones, diabetes, dental cavities, cancer, leukaemia and colon cancer.

Study showed that 20 gms of beans increases longevity by 8%. Another study showed that healthy children with high Phytate consumption had better Zinc absorption.

5. Fruits – By now I had enough, I would have to lead a life without rice or use it in moderation. I had to stop wheat and its companions. Using legumes in moderation was a huge blow for me. At least I could live on fruits or so I thought.

20,000 years ago, fruit consumption was 60 gms / day, today it is 80 gms / day. Did you know that fruit increases your aging process? Fruit causes fatty liver? Causes high BP and Obesity? Horrifying isn’t it? Kindly read on:

What happens when you eat fruits?

STEP 1 – Fruit does not contain glucose, it contains Fructose. Fructose goes directly to the liver and hence you may not see an insulin spike.

STEP 2 – Liver has a storage space for only 60 gms. A banana contains 47 gms of carbs. As the liver is over packed, now it becomes a fatty liver. So it is not just alcoholics who have fatty livers, even fruit fanatics do. It is called NASH (Non alcoholic sterodic hepatitis)

STEP 3 – This leads to Insulin resistance in the liver and the body has to make more Insulin which leads to Obesity.

STEP 4 – Fructose is a real rascal, it inhibits Endothelium Nitrate, which is a dilator of Blood Vessels and thus causes High BP.

STEP 5 – This Fructose which spills out of the liver (De Novo Lipogenesis) become fatty acids. These small size particles cause small LDL (SLDL) which is the dangerous Cholesterol.

STEP 6 –  Fructose not only creates crack in the blood vessels but also packs SLDL into it which lead to CVD (Cardio Vascular Disease)

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Glycation:

The Fructose in fruits sticks to protein and they make a sticky glue inside the blood vessels. This is a magnet for free radicals and causes rapid aging. So anybody who wants to look more matured and old, please eat more fruits.

There is another way in which you can Glycate your body; this can be done by creating a lethal mi of Carbohydrates and Fats. Think of some foods which have a heavy dose of both of them – Dosa roast, finger chips, pizza, fried potatoes, fried appalams, vada, samosas and all the good stuff that we have been enjoying through our lifetime.

Vitamins & Minerals deficiency in Vegetarians:

Vegetarians have excess of Vitamin A, C, B6 (folate), B9, K, Magnesium, Manganese and Copper. Unfortunately they don’t have much of Proteins, B12, Omega 3, Iron, Calcium, Zinc, Vitamin D and Vitamin K2. I wish to suggest some corrective actions which the vegetarians could take.

  1. Have salads sprinkled with high dose of Vit C as the health increase Iron absorption. 50 mg of Vit C can overcome negative effects of 175 mg of Phytates and absorb Iron.
  2. A tablespoon of Chia seeds can give the requisite Omega 3.
  3. Pumpkin seeds, Sesame seeds and Collard can boost the level of Zinc in the body.
  4. Mushrooms can increase the Vit D level in the body.
  5. Sauerkraft improves Vit K2 concentration in the body, which is essential for blood clotting in the body.

The more I notice, the more I realize that food has become a science. There is no room for speculation, belief systems, hunch and obsessions. My sincere suggestion is that instead of shunning the information, dig in and try to figure out the facts. This will not only make you stronger but also your progeny. Ultimately, our body is the only vehicle that we have to fulfil all our dreams. Possibly more awareness could also help us fetch more medals in the Olympics to come.

Wish for a happier and a healthier India!

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Check out the following links for added information:

Study: Does Eating White Rice Raise Your Risk of Diabetes?

http://www.diagnosisdiet.com/is-fructose-bad-for-you-a-summary-of-the-research/

https://paleoleap.com/beans-and-legumes/

CARBOHYDRATES – GOOD OR BAD FOR YOU? (7 viewpoints)

Being a part of an orthodox family, who subsisted mainly on grains, rice and potatoes, if someone had asked me this question few years back, I would have thought it’s a nobrainer. Now I face the guillotine.

5 Metabolic Syndromes (South Indian city survey):

Now for some statistics – 32% of Americans suffer from Metabolic Syndrome. A recent survey 2017 in South Indian cities, primarily Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru reveal some interesting statistics.

  1. 31.4% have abdominal obesity (visceral fat)
  2. 45.6% have hypertriglyceridemia (high level of triglycerides)
  3. 65.5% have low HDL (high density lipoprotein)
  4. 54.7% have Hypertension (high BP)
  5. 26.7% have high Fasting Plasma Glucose

When I checked myself against this list, I found that I scored high on 4 out of the 5 parameters. Thankfully Hypertension had avoided my attention. What could have been the prime reason for all these chronic ailments? I donned my Sherlock Holmes cap and started probing into the whereabouts of this stealthy prowler who had gone about disturbing my metabolism.

After a long search, I pinned down on the culprit; CARBOHYDRATES (carbs). I couldn’t believe it. This person, who had been my companion all my life turned out to be a traitor. Et tu Brute! I know that it will be a very disturbing story but please bear with me.

The Anatomy of the Criminal (just in my case)

Here is a quiz for you – a loaf of bread, a bowl of rice or a can of soda, which one has more carbohydrates? Answer: Calorie counter says – all of them have the same amount of carbs.

So what are these so called ‘Carbs’? It takes me back to my school days, where my biology teacher drew out the Food Pyramid with carbohydrates at the base. She pointed out that carbohydrate metabolism and structure was the essence of life energy in all animals. This thought penetrated my psyche and my life started revolving around rice, rotis, starch, grains, beans, sugar and soda of course.

pyramid

 

(PC: Google)

In simple layman terms, carbohydrates are made up of Monosaccharide (Glucose, Fructose & Galactose) which the body sends into the blood stream ASAP, spiking our Glucose and Insulin levels.

Next in the list comes Disaccharides (Lactose, Maltose & Sucrose) who take a little bit more time to spike up. The last in the list are Oligosaccharides and Polysaccharides. These guys consist of indigestible Beta bonds and take hell of a time to enter the blood stream.

Moral of the story: the more the Saccharides, the better the guy (carbohydrates).

What makes villain out of these harmless souls? (Idli and its relatives turned sour)

We decided that we would live together and vowed never to go apart till the end of times, but Idli and its companions Dosa and Vada had skeletons in their cupboard. They never revealed to me that they had ‘lectins’ in them, which would cause a leaky gut. They are also supposed to be the prime cause of ‘inflammation’ (the slow burning of the body, which leads to faster aging of the arteries). This uncanny fact about them gave me sleepless nights. How could they? I had really trusted them.

Then came another shocking revelation, this bunch had phytic acid in them which would prevent me from absorbing whatever little nutrients that I was consuming.

Then came the unkindest cut of all, they had been the prime cause of my elevated insulin. This insulin was pushing all the fat into my interstitial cells (causing visceral fat) and a metabolic catastrophe.

The Gluten Story:

During my sojourn in North India, right from West Bengal to Delhi to Mumbai, it was chappatis all the way. I took pride in consuming these rotis as they had been the staple diet of pahalwans for centuries. A renowned cardiologist set me on the right track, after I read his horror book ‘The Wheat Belly’ by William Davis which Punjabis should avoid reading, as it would hit them worse than a tsunami.

Wheat (the triple whammy):

  1. Wheat causes inflammation; it messes up with the gut and separates the cells in the gut wall. Yucky to imagine all the food stuff leaking out of your gut. So gluten is not the only culprit, as mentioned by one of the respondents. It is not only celiac resistant (wheat resistant people who should avoid wheat) it is virtually everyone, unless you would love to see your whole gut and intestine full of leaks. My kind suggestion is take an abdominal test and figure out the facts. Just for your information, this other villain is called Zonulin’.
  2. More trouble – Gluten (Gliadin) and Agglutinin pack a punch. When a foreign body enters your blood stream your immune system gets into action. Here is where the real danger is – your body mistakes Agglutinin as a foreign thing and starts to attack your own immune system which leads to inflammatory bowels (Crohn’s disease). Did you know that Gluten is the major trigger of Type 1 Diabetes?
  3. To top it all, there is a another important body which is at stake, the Brain. And Gluten could be connected to Alzheimer’s disease.

The list is endless, skin disease, eczema, psoriasis, diarrhoea are all connected to wheat. So is it time, we said goodbye to chappatis, naans, puris, cakes, bread (brown or white), rava, semiya so on and so forth.

The choice is yours. Say No to puris and have a lovely gut or say Yes to puris and have a stinky gut.

What was I to do? Was there a way out of this ruckus?

One experiment is worth a thousand books (sensor to the rescue):

(Sensor readings of Sivakumar)

How could I separate the chaff from the grains? How could I separate facts from opinion? Whom should I believe? Should I run my life based on hearsay, a judgement or should I discover the truth to myself? Fortunately technology is there to our rescue and I discovered it in the form of Glucose sensor which Dr.Deyanandan fitted on me.

One thing surprises me about people, they are ready to pass on judgment and opinions at the drop of a hat but ask them to fit a sensor and discover the truth within, they run away like deer confronted by a tiger. Why don’t they face reality? The truth may hit us like a tonne of bricks, but can free us from the figment of our imagination.

The Great Healer of Tamil Nadu claims that jaggery, palm sugars do lot of good to us. Has this messiah tried the sensor on himself? He may be responsible for a thousand deaths and he will as long as people run their lives based on belief.

Fruits are good or so I thought but this instrument said a firm “NO” to it. Be it tea, payasam, ice cream, rice, potato, pasta – whatever I consumed, my insulin spiked. So what was I to consume? We forget the other two constituents of the ‘Food Pyramid’ – proteins & carbohydrates. Be it eggs, paneer, walnuts, almonds, coconut, olive oil – my insulin never spiked.

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(PC: Google)

What carbs to eat?

Veggies my dear! The rainbow of vegetables; VIBGYOR came to my assistance. Each colour brings in a phytonutrient with it, which will protect my body against cancer. Moreover most of them have dietary fibres, which work brilliantly on my gut. As for the insulin spikes, these veggies are complete carbohydrates and hence take a long time to enter the blood stream.

The Grand Finale: (Body for life)

6 months into a veggie, eggs, kefir , nuts, fish and paneer filled diet, my glucose which was hovering around 300 mg / dl range is now in the 90s. My HDL has shot up from 40 to 55. My triglycerides have crashed down from 120 to 66. My Blood Pressure reads 110 / 66 and I have shed 12 kilos.

When Tim Ferris was asked whether carbs are good or bad? His answer was yes –he said, if you are as fit as an Olympic Athlete, do take carbs after a workout. Otherwise, if you are still desperate, have it now and then – once every 6 months.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; the facts lie bare before you. Test it out for yourself and decide your true calling – ARE CARBS GOOD OR BAD?  

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Check out the following links for added information:

https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/diet/good-carbs-bad-carbs/

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/common-topics

https://www.self.com/story/this-is-what-eating-carbs-actually-does-to-your-body

 

72 hours fasting for health – (why did we do it?)

 

There were numerous queries after our 3 days fast. Is it an Atkins diet? Is it a Paleo Diet? What about Fasting and Blood Pressure, fasting and Diabetes? Are you fasting with water? Can i drink water with fasting? Is it a Low Carb diet and so on…. There was another group of people who claimed that we were nuts to try out this experiment.  Some others believed that life should be partying all the time, eating and making merry and never be in the starvation mode. Some others were concerned about our calcium levels, iron levels and hemoglobin count. In this blog post, we wish to clarify some of your concerns and queries.

Why did we do it (objective of the fast)?

I (Shiv) have lived a life where even a 5 minute delay in providing the meal would send me into a state of depression. Then how did this turnaround come about? Gurus state that the key to success in life depends on 3 factors – Attitude, Skills and knowledge. Let me share with you the knowledge about fasting.

ghrelinfluctuation

Close observation of the graph would show that Ghrelin (hunger hormone) spikes at around breakfast, lunch and dinner time. Even closer observation would show that this spike would last for a very short period of time, after which the hunger subsides. Hence fasting for 3 days doesn’t mean that we would be holding our stomachs, growling all the time and thinking only of food. The hunger spikes last for a very short duration. So please check it out.

Carbohydrate addict (carboholic):

I had been a carbohydrate addict for most of my lifetime. In the mornings, my insulin and fasting blood sugar would be at its lowest. My Ghrelin would be at its highest.  This would lead to hunger pangs and misbehavior from my side (throwing tantrums). My tempers would cool down only after consuming few idlis and a sambar vada. My insulin would then work on pushing this stuff into the cells. Whatever food that did not get into the cells, would then be converted to visceral fat and Intestitial fat. Now my carb level (blood glucose) would come down around 1 pm, giving Ghrelin the signal to shoot up. Now this signalled lunch time. Time to have sambar rice, rasam rice, curd rice, kutoo and poriyal. As my body would need a 1000 calories of energy just to break down and digest this food, i would have little energy to do much else and hence it was siesta time… a time for a good afternoon nap. By now my glucose level would have subsided and now it was time to snack it up with rich Tamil snacks – murukku, mixture bhujia or biscuits, with Chai of course (with 2 spoons of pure white sugar). This would now cool down my Ghrelin levels and bring about a surge in my blood sugar, which would go down by 9 pm, signalling dinner time. Time to have few poories and chole. Now for all the hard work i had done, my body would need tonnes of energy to break down this stuff and hence it was time to sleep.

50 years of nonstop nonsense (eating, eating and eating):

Now my dear friends, especially dear Tamilians and Indians, where is the nutrition in this kind of food? Rice is the prime cause of Inflammation, milk (in tea) leads to leaky gut, wheat contains gluten which stops our bodies from absorbing whatever little nutrients we have and chole is an anti-nutrient. I wonder how i survived so many years. Thanks to the fruits and vegetables i consumed.

Dear Mr.Pancreas I am sorry (The INSULIN Story):

I confess that i am a criminal, though unknowingly, I tortured my pancreas and try to squeeze every bit of Insulin out of it. My pancreas would plead with me for rest but I would hammer out the Beta cells (insulin producing cells). These poor cells unable to bare this torture started committing suicide one by one. Only 23 percent of them are still alive. The world of medics had branded me as a diabetic. My insulin spikes continued but my cells were not ready to accept this glucose. Having no other outlet, my blood glucose took comfort in the arms of my fat cells. This juicy blubber which people connote as healthy, made me a member of the huge community of men in Tamil Nadu (India). This community is called EPND (ever pregnant no delivery). If I had to survive, I had to walk out of this community; it was time for an abortion.

Mr.Metformin to the rescue:

This label brought along with it dozens of medicines. My purpose of existence for the last 10 years was to feed the medical and the pharmaceutical industry. I wish somebody had told me that Carbs (carbohydrates) was my biggest enemy. If a person is Lactose intolerant (milk intolerant) what should you avoid – Milk of course. If a person is allergic to wheat, soya or peanut, then what should he avoid? If a person is allergic to Carbs, what should he avoid – carbohydrates of course. This little piece of information could have saved my Beta cells from 10 years of torture. Why would anyone tell me? I was a prime feeder for 2 major industries. If carbohydrates is a death sentence then what could i eat? Here fat and proteins came to my rescue.

A new world, LCHF:

This is when I was introduced to the world of Low Carbs (no milk, no sugar, no sweets, no processed food, no refined oil, no snacks, no rice, no wheat, no maida, no starchy fruits and vegetables; eg. Potatoes and banana) So what was i eating for Carbohydrates – fibrous vegetables and fruits. Added to this was another ally – walnuts, almonds, avocados, olive oil and coconut oil. Unhealthy vegetable oils like refined sunflower, gingelly and palm oil was a big no, no. Sorry Idayam, sorry Gold Winner – though you do lot of service to mankind by taking care of the heart fortifying them with D3 Vitamins, rich Omega 6 PUFA which helps people eat healthy vadas and poories and increase their life span, you are prohibited from my daily consumption.

A new fuel for my body; KETONES:

You all know that cars run on either diesel or gasoline. In future, we are going to have hybrid cars running on solar batteries, electric cars and so forth. If a car can run on different kinds of fuels, why not our bodies? The only fuel that most of us know about is Glucose. This is the reason why many people were concerned about our Fasting for 3 days. To our dear Tamilians who are tuned to Idlis and Dosas, this atrocious fasting is Hara Kiri.

Macro-oxidation-400x283

If you observe the graph carefully, once the glucose is no longer the supplier of fuel, our body is like a hybrid car, switches over to another source of fuel – Ketones. This is otherwise called as ‘FastingKeto’ or ‘Fasting Ketosis’. It is a fat burning diet or a fat loss diet, though our objective was not fasting for weight loss.

Ramdev Baba and Anna Hazare are very smart:

This secret is known to these men. Even Gandhiji should have had decent knowledge about Ketosis. While the glucose addicts panicked that these men were trying to kill themselves for a great cause. These men had the last  laugh. It was like killing 2 birds with one stone. Improve your health and at the same time become famous.

A note about Gandhiji:  

The father of our nation undertook 17 fasts during his lifetime out of which 13 fasts were for a duration of 7 days or less which is very much endurable. But 4 of his fasts – one for 14 days and 3 for 21 days is super human stuff, because here the body gets into breakdown mode and starts consuming itself to survive. No wonder he is the Grand-master of Fasting.

Our story (Intermittent Fasting):

After switching over to LCHF diet on which we have been for the last 5 months, we graduated to strength and endurance exercises, with the objective of increasing storage of the excess Glucose in our muscles which had been in dormant stage till then (and liver). Muscle stores 70 gms of Glucose and liver stores 200 gms, but how do we store in the already overstocked liver? And that is where we studied the guide to fasting and took baby steps towards intermittent fasting. ‘Intermittent Fasting’ is otherwise known as 16/8 Fasting. Fast 16 hours every day and have your meals within a span of 8 hours. This is not a diet. We eat the same calories that an average person does but within a shorter span of time. We later progressed to 20/4 fasting. Eat within a 4 hour window and give your body a 20 hour rest. Initially the going was slightly tough, but our bodies became very smart and knew when to switch over to the Keto mode. Thus we don’t have the hunger cycles of average human beings, who have Glucose and Insulin swings, which result in mood swings. Our Glucose levels are absolutely stable. My Glucose levels are normalized at 83 mg / dl and fluctuate within a narrow range of plus or minus 15 mg / dl (this could be bad news for the entire Diabetic Industry). All Diabetologists, Diabetic care centres, Cardio centres, Nephrologists, Hepatologists,  Pharma companies could become a thing of the past. Hence those who want to promote these industries, please don’t read my blog and promote it. I have been off Metformin for the last 5 months. Previously, i needed it for my survival and it kept my average glucose level at 275 mg / dl.

Moving up the ladder (24 hour fasting):

For the last 7 weeks, we have said no to solid food on Saturdays. The real battle is not within the body, the real battle is with the mind. To know the benefits on the body please click on the link and watch our video.

My mind had been conditioned for 50 years to having three solid meals a day and tonnes of crap (snacks) in between. My mind was not ready to forgo this comfort zone and started threatening me with dire consequences and went to extent on questioning whether i wanted to survive. Savi and I had to endure this ordeal till we were able to enslave our mind to the diktats of our body. Finally our mind obliged. Please note that our Hemoglobin and Calcium levels will not drastically drop during all this fasting. Its our mind playing tricks on us. It is our mind and our ego which are preventing us from coming out of our comfort zone. Even though there is wealth of experience beyond this comfort circle.

What did we eat during the 3 day fast?:

Finally we took a bold step forward, a leap in faith. If we were craving for food all the time, thinking of nothing but food and also feeling extremely tired, then how we ran 10 kms, do SALSA practice, have a Lower body workout, run in the treadmill apart from doing Yoga on all days? This kind of workout is not done by people even on normal days without any food consumption. Isn’t it? As a matter of fact, when we broke our fast, it was like missing a friend. This prolonged fasting has taught us how to conquer our mind and food, which is what the world thinks about most of the time, is not a priority in our lives.

Folks please click on the links to know what we consumed :

We had lots of lemon juice with Himalayan salts to balance our Electrolytes – no supplements, no juices. Avoid drinking fresh juices, as they have no fiber, are devoid of antioxidants and spike your glucose. In our case, we had a protein shake and an orange fruit before workout.

We dream of reaching higher levels, possibly a 5 day or a 7 day fast. Ramdev Baba, are you watching?

Please follow us on our FB Page:

https://www.facebook.com/Shiv-and-Savy-Fighting-FIT-1964510520466065/

Sharing few useful link related to fasting.

https://draxe.com/benefits-fasting/

http://dailyburn.com/life/health/intermittent-fasting-methods/

https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/health-benefits-of-fasting/

Are Sugar substitutes good for health?

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Being a diabetic, I had been regularly consuming sugar free pills considering it as an excellent sugar substitute. Even television ads promote it as an alternative for diabetics craving to have Diwali sweets. I had been an ignoramus; I could have just typed into Google and figured out the dangers of Sugar Free – ASPARTAME.

Little did I know that Aspartame gets converted to Methanol and becomes formaldehyde. Diet Coke, which is meant for weight watchers, is stuffed with Aspartame. So what does Aspartame do? This chemical rich substitute clogs your cells, increases the toxicity in your body and ultimately leads to kidney problems and cancer. Also poor cellular function ultimately leads to ‘Weight Gain’.

So could you have ‘Stevia’ (sucralose) instead? Recently, a woman in Australia was admitted to hospital for Chlorine poisoning. It turned out that she was consuming too much stevia in her cakes, puddings and oat meal breakfast. One of the by products of stevia is chlorine.

We have become a recently turned strength building enthusiasts. To increase our muscle mass we purchased whey protein (fast protein) and casein (slow protein). The casein protein turned out to have tonnes of sucralose. So customers beware, read the labels before you purchase.

But there is good news, Honey (madhu) is a rich source of Amino acids, minerals and is anti bacterial. In fact it’s more a food than a sugar substitute. Dates are rich in Vitamins, Minerals and Fibre. Check out for original honey and dates, otherwise you could get into trouble.

I had been following a popular Healer’s guidelines and having jaggery / karupatti for six months. This led to a phenomenal rise in my sugars. Thanks to the Healer’s advice. In this technologically advanced world, just get a gluco sensor fitted on you and that will clearly indicate what will spike your insulin. Dr.Deyanandan has clearly made his patients realise that many of these alternatives like jaggery and karupatti do more harm than good.

One of our friends following the ‘Paleo Diet’ states that anything sweet once it goes below the throat is glucose. During a walk last month at Merina Beach in Chennai, we were approached by a man who sold claimed to sell health drink with palm sugar. Though his sales pitch was convincing, we knew that the gluco sensor would give a different answer. We smiled and declined his offer.

Some other decent sugar substitutes are Maple syrup and Coconut sugar. The best substitute for diabetics is ‘Stevia’. None of these substitutes have a Glycemic Index (GI) of more than 50 which is half the GI of pure sugar.

BUT ANYTHING IN EXCESS IS UNHEALTHY.

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art” – La Rochefoucauld

Kindly lay your hands on the book ‘Pure, white and deadly’ by John Yudkin. This best seller claims that sugar is the cause of almost all chronic diseases in the world.

Picture of Gluco Sensor

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Which is the best form of Exercise?

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We have been also trying to figure out this jigsaw puzzle for quite some time. We had a Yoga instructor who categorically stated that strength training is the worst form of exercise. Now we have our Gym trainer who states that Yoga is for Kindergarten children.

Just two weeks ago, we had a guest speaker at the Rotary Conference, Ms.Madhavi Latha. Eight years ago doctors had explicitly stated that she would not endure her ordeal of polio for more than a year. That is when she took up to swimming. This gave a soothing effect to her joints and has resulted in her becoming the National Paralympics Swimming Champion. So Madhavi would certainly vouch that swimming is the best form of exercise. It is a blessing for people with joint pains.

How many calories does Micheal Phelps consume every day? Answer is 12,000….yes more than four times the amount of food an average person consumes. Then what keeps him lean and fit? It is the amount of time he spends in the chill pool waters which works out to about 5 hours every day and helps him to burn his brown adipose fat. So those who are weight watchers or want to shed out extra pounds could try out swimming.

Pranayam, Tai Chi and any form of deep breathing will propel your Mitochondria to peak performance and drastically improve your cellular function. As we all know, cells make up tissues, tissues make up organs and organs make up you.

Yoga, particularly ‘Surya Namaskar’ works on our flexibility and is an excellent practice to keep our Lymphatic system active. What is our Lymphatic system? To put it in one phrase ‘Our Drainage System’. No wonder you see Yoga practitioners flexible right unto their old ages, whereas commoners struggle with knee and joint pains.

Running, walking and cycling do miracles for the heart and increase maximum heart rate and decrease rest rate. The wider the gap, the better your heart is; the better your heart, the more the blood; the more the blood, the happier the cells. This does a lot to improve our endurance. A person’s maximum heart rate is 220 – your age. Your resting heart rate should be 60 to 90, anything more than 90 indicates heart problem. Olympic athletes have a resting heart rate of 50 or lesser. Lance Armstrong, the seven times winner of Tour de France had a resting heart rate of 32 beats / minute.

Tim Ferris says that all forms of exercise are la..la exercises and feel good exercises. They need the support of oxygen from the environment to function but Strength Training is the only form of progressive exercise that is done in the anaerobic (without oxygen) mode. All strength trainers have strong bones and joints, right till the very end of their times.

Steven Covey in his bestselling book ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ says that all the three forms, strength, flexibility and endurance are equally important. Jim Dornan, the founder of Network 21 when asked this question, answered ‘yes’. Yes,cellular food is very important, which comes from endurance exercises. Yes cellular detoxifying is very important, which comes from flexibility exercises. Yes cellular energy is very important, which comes from deep breathing exercises. And yes, cell power is very important, which comes from strength building exercises.’

So finally all of you are right, the answer is yes, yes, yes, yes.

“Good things come to those who SWEAT”