Are you Struggling to keep your New Year’s resolutions ?

Do you always struggle to keep your New Year’s resolutions??


Do you have to drag yourself to work every Monday?


Do you not feel any enthusiasm  and zeal towards life?

If “YES” than you MUST… MUST… MUST… answer these 3 Questions and believe me, you won’t remain the same… If you want to be happy but not sure… how?  These 3 questions will clarify your mind .

1. What do you want to experience?
2. How do you want to grow?
3. How do you want to contribute?


Vishen Lakhiani, the founder of MindValley, did an awesome job by introducing  these life changing questions. These 3 Questions will make you wonder how you can move forward and work towards a brighter future.

How to do it ?
You can either just visualize these or write it down…
You need 90 seconds for each question and a quiet place…

Making list of experiences you want in life will clarify what you want to achieve. It can be experiencing best vacation or experiencing best relationship. When you know exactly what you want its first step in right direction. This exercise helped me manifest my subconscious thoughts making it real and doable.

Growth is in-evitable  “We are more fulfilled when we grow “.  So plan your growth. It can be growing spiritually or emotionally or physically.

Verbatim by Vishen ….
“No matter how shitty your life might be when you think about giving back….for some inexplicable reason, Life seems to give you more and it tends to be one of surest pass to happiness…” so true…
Giving creates an inner joy and peace, which cannot be described in words. Giving can be in the form of money, time or knowledge.

My personal favorite part of the whole video is how the questions require the viewer to reflect and imagine how they can inspire themselves to be their very best. When you have answered these questions, you have set goals for life.

You know what experiences you want,  how you wish to grow and how you can contribute. Everyday you wake up with new passion and zeal . I have tried it and it had always given me huge motivation.

I urge you to try it and let me know how it worked for you.

Watch this 13 minutes video of Vishen Lakhiani,



Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC)

Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes are the changes in diet and lifestyle that can help you lower cholesterol. They are precisely based on diet, exercise, weight reduction and cessation of smoking. 
Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) is the National Cholesterol Education developed by a division of National Institute of Health.

Dietary Strategies:

  • Saturated fats < 7% of total calories
  • Dietary cholesterol < 200 mg /day
  • Fat intake of 25 to 35% of total calories
  • Replace saturated fats with carbohydrates from whole grains, legumes and fruits.
  • Replace unsaturated fats from fish, vegetables oils and nuts.
  • Avoid food products with trans fatty acids.
  • Choose foods high in soluble fibers like oats, barley, beans and fruits.
  • Consume food products containing added plant sterols or stanols regularly.
  • To reduce Blood pressure chooses diet high in fruits and vegetables, low fat milk products and nuts and whole grains.
  • Limit sodium to 2400 mg/day.
  • Fish can be consumed regularly.
  • If alcohol is consumed, it should be 1 drink daily by women and 2 drinks daily by men.

Lifestyle Choices:

  • Smoking Cessation
  • Physical activity: At least 30 minutes of moderate intensity endurance activity should be undertaken on most days f the week.

Weight Reduction: Goal of Weight management should be to prevent weight gain, reduce body weight and maintain lower body weight for long time.

Implementing a Heart Healthy Diet:

Making few changes in normal diet can be enough in implementing heart healthy diet. Focusing on ‘What can be eaten’ instead of ‘what cannot be eaten’ would be correct and beneficial approach.
Bread, Cereals and Pasta:

  • Choosing whole grains and pasta. Reading nutrition label will help. Choosing the product, whose first ingredient is labeled as “whole wheat” and not as “enriched wheat flour.”
  • Avoiding food products with trans fatty.

Fruits and Vegetables:

  • Stocking lots of fruits and vegetables at home will make it easier to make healthful choices
  • Incorporate at least one or two servings of fruits and vegetables in each meal.
  • Choose canned products carefully, they may be high in sodium.
  • Restricting high sodium food such as pickles, olives, sauerkraut and kimchi.
  • Avoiding French fries and fast food restaurants.

Lunch and Dinner Entrees:

  • Limit meat, fish and poultry servings to a maximum intake of 5 ounces per day.
  • Select lean cuts of beef such as sirloin tip, round streak, and arm roast and lean cuts of pork such as center cut ham, loin chops and tenderloin. Trim visible fats.
  • Select extra lean ground meat. Use lean ground turkey without skin added instead of ground beef.
  • Limit cholesterol rich organs meats (liver, brain, sweetbreads) and shrimp.
  • Limit egg yolks to no more than 2 per week as yolks are very high in cholesterol.
  • Include more vegetarian entrees or legumes dishes to boost soluble fiber and lower saturated fat intakes.
  • Restrict following high sodium foods: Cured or smoked meats such as beef jerky, bologna, corned or chipped beef, frankfurters, ham, luncheon meats, alt pork and sausage. Salty or smokes fish like anchovies, caviar, salted or dried cod, herring sardines and smoked salmon. Packaged canned or frozen soups, sauces and entrees.

Milk Products:

  • Including fat free or low fat milk, yogurt, or cottage cheese in each meal.
  • Using yogurt or fat free sour cream to make dips or salad dressings.

Fat and Oils:

  • Add nuts and avocados to meals to increase mono saturated fat intake.
  • Include vegetable oils in salad dressings and recipe such as canola, corn, olive, peanut oil, safflower, soybean, sesame and sunflower oil.
  • Avoid stick margarine and solid vegetable shortenings.
  • Avoid products that contain tropical oil like coconut, palm, and palm kernel oil.

Spices and Seasonings:

  • Use salt only at the end of cooking.
  • Spices and seasonings improve the flavor of foods without adding sodium. Use of garlic, basil, ginger, cumin, curry powder, chili powder, lemon, mint, oregano, rosemary and thyme enhances flavor cutting down on salt.
  • Check sodium content on labels.

Snacks and Desserts:

  • Select low sodium and low saturated fat choices like unsalted pretzels and nuts, plain popcorn, and unsalted chips and crackers.
  • Choose fruits as dessert.
  • Enjoy Angel food cake, which is made with egg yolks and added fats.
  • Select low sodium frozen desserts such as sherbet, sorbet, fruit bars and some low fat ice creams.


Cardiovascular Diseases

On a beautiful morning while I was almost ready to get out of bed….. Suddenly, I was interrupted by the disturbing noise of ambulance in my neighborhood … I rolled down the window, just to notice that my new neighbor, who is almost in late thirties was carried away by paramedics…. Later that day got the news that he had suffered from cardiac arrest… but by God’s grace he has survived.




How many of us can get lucky this way….

February is American Heart Month. With so much love and hearty messages floating around what can be more important then to take good care of our hearts physically and emotionally.

What exactly are Cardiovascular Diseases???

Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD): General term describing diseases of heart and blood vessels.

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD): a condition characterized by reduced blood flow in coronary arteries that can eventually cause damage to heart tissue also called Coronary artery disease.

Myocardial Infarction or MI: Death of heart muscle caused by a sudden reduction in coronary blood flow also called a heart attack or cardiac arrest.

Stroke: A sudden injury to brain tissue resulting from distributed blood flow through an artery that supplies blood to the brain, also called cerebrovascular accident.

Metabolic syndrome: A cluster of interrelated clinical symptoms which together increase cardiovascular disease risk: the symptoms are obesity, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and abnormal blood lipids.

Atherosclerosis: is characterized by build of plaque (fatty material) on an artery’s wall. Rupture of plaque can lead to thrombosis and obstruction of blood flow. Factors that cause plaque formation and progression include inflammation, hypertension, smoking, hyperlipidemias and diabetes.

CHD: Coronary heart disease is the most common and leading cause of death in United States.

Risk Factors for CHD:

Major Risk Factors For CHD (not modifiable)

  • Increased age
  • Male Gender
  • Family History of Premature Heart disease.

Major Risk Factors For CHD (modifiable)

  • High Blood LDL cholesterol
  • Low Blood HDL cholesterol
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity (specially abdominal obesity)
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Cigarette Smoking
  • Atherogenic Diet (High in Saturated Fats and low in Fruits, vegetables and whole grains)

Studies have shown that about 90% of people with CHD have at least one of the classic modifiable factors: smoking, high LDL cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Standards for CHD risk assessments:

Desirable Border Line High Risk
Total Blood Cholesterol (mg/dL) < 200 200-239 >=240
LDL cholesterol(mg/dL) <100 130-159 160-189
HDL cholesterol(mg/dL) >=60 59-40 <40
Triglycerides(mg/dL) <150 159-199 200-499
Body mass Index(BMI) 18.5-24.9 (healthy) 25-29.9 (overweight) >= 30 (obese)
Blood Pressure (systolic and/or diastolic) pressure <120/<80 120-139/80-89 >=140/>=90


Abdominal obesity is suggested by a waist circumference, greater than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women.

Hypertriglyceridemia is elevated blood triglycerides. Overweight, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle and cigarette smoking may increase triglyceride levels. Dietary factors that may raise triglycerides includes high intake of alcohol, or carbohydrate (sucrose and fructose) have strongest effect. Controlling body weight, being physically active, quitting smoking, restricting alcohol and avoiding high carbohydrate intakes are basic treatments.

Hypertension affects nearly one-third of adults in the United States. Blood pressure is measured both when heart muscles contract (systolic blood pressure) and when it releases (diastolic blood pressure).

Contributing factors for Hypertension:

  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Obesity
  • Alcohol
  • Salt sensitivity
  • Diet

Life style modification for blood pressure reduction:

  • Maintaining healthy body weight (BMI<25)
  • Adopt DASH eating plan – adopting diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low fat milk products and reduced saturated fat intake.
  • Reducing dietary sodium intake to less than 2400 mg/day.
  • Performing aerobic activities for at least 30 mins/day for most days of the week.
  • Limiting alcohol consumption for men –2 drinks/day and women 1 drink/day.

Cognitive Heart Failure (CHF): is a condition in which heart is unable to pump adequate blood resulting in fluid congestion in tissues and in the veins leading to the heart.

Treatment of CHF includes drug therapies that reduce congestion and strengthen heart function. The main Dietary recommendation is moderate sodium restriction.

Cardiac Cachexia: the severe muscle wasting and weight loss that accompany congestive heart failure.

Stroke: Stroke is fourth leading cause of death in the United Sates after heart and cancer. The two major types of strokes are ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.

Ischemic stroke are strokes that result from the obstruction of blood flow to brain tissue.

Hemorrhagic strokes are strokes that result from bleeding within the brain, which destroys or compresses brain tissue.

Transient Ischemic attacks brief ischemic episodes that cause short-term neurological symptoms such as blurred vision, slurred speech, numbness, paralysis or difficulty speaking. They are short-lived “mini strokes” and are warning signs that a more severe stroke may occur.

Strokes are largely preventable by reversing modifiable risk factors, which include hypertension, cigarette smoking, diabetes mellitus, and elevated LDL cholesterol.

Treatment includes the use of anticlotting drugs such as aspirin, antiplatelet drugs, and anticoagulants. A patient who has had a major stroke may have problems eating normally due to lack of coordination and dysphagia (difficulty swallowing).

Source: Nutrition and Diet Therapy by DeBruyne, Pinna and Whitney.

Now that we have known the conditions and their symptoms, follow up next blog for the exclusive diet program known as ‘ Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) designed for these health issues….’