Health Supplements 101

Health Supplements 101

Disclaimer: I am by no means a registered dietitian/nutritionist, but I have been into supplements for a while now. This stuff has worked for me and I thought it would be helpful to people that actually want to know about a few dietary supplements that do the job. Having said that, if you’re someone that has health issues, for example, kidney disorders, I would strongly recommend you see your GP first.

Also, major thanks to the significant other for a ton of valuable input.

Let’s say you work out five days a week. You’ve been consistent with your routine. BUT, you don’t see results. There could be a few things that you’re doing wrong – one of them would be NOT eating right. The other one would be giving your body enough break, but that’s something we won’t get into in this post. I like to incorporate a few things into my diet, and I’ll talk about them briefly below.

• L-Carnitine:

L-Carnitine, an amino acid, has strong antioxidant properties. It helps transport fat as a source of energy to your mitochondria and the antioxidant properties enable the cells to get rid of metabolic waste. It helps burn body fat and lets the cells use fat as primary source of energy instead of carbs. It was first obtained from meat extracts way back in 1905 – the name carnitine is derived from the Latin word “carnus“, meaning flesh. Since I don’t eat red meat (the redder the meat, the better in this case), I choose to take L-Carnitine.

L-Carnitine comes in capsule form which you can take post a heavy breakfast. Either take two a day post meals, if you’re working out extensively. I just take one a day.

Whey protein:

Whey concentrate has a bioavailability score of 104 (egg is your next best bet with a score of 100). The body is able to absorb it quickly and is able to transport to site of injury (muscles) to help begin repair quickly. It helps boost immune system as well. Whey is thermogenic, thereby aiding in fat loss and building up of the muscle. Whey isolate has a bioavailability of 159.

A scoop or 30 grams of whey concentrate mixed into 200 mils of chilled water post your workout routine is amazing. As you keep at it and fall into rhythm, your body will get into a habit and you’ll notice a huge difference.

Collagen:

Collagen is produced by body, but not in large quantities. The exogenous consumption helps boost collagen stores which in turn improves skin, hair, nail and joint health.

A scoop or eight grams of collagen mixed into your whey protein shake will do the job. You should see results in thirty days.*

• Fish Oil Capsules:

Fish oil is of two types – cod liver oil and normal fish oil, which has oil from an assortment of fishes. Fish oil has more omega 3. Cod liver oil is a good balance of vitamins A and D, EPA and DHA and is easily absorbed and easier to mass produce, plus has lesser mercury toxicity than regular fish oil. (This is best avoided if you’re on Isotretinoin.)

I take two capsules a day post breakfast.

• Biotin:

Biotin or vitamin B is a water soluble vitamin which helps improve the infrastructure of Keratin, the basic protein that makes up your skin, nails and hair. Biotin is available in a lot of food that you eat on the daily, like egg yolk and bananas and certain nuts, but with someone that’s losing hair faster than you could say Jack Robinson, I need my supplements.

I take one tablet after breakfast, everyday. I’m hoping to be blessed with Rapunzel-like tresses soon.

* Results may vary from person to person, obviously.

Do you take any supplements? Have you seen results?

Real Talk: Why I Chose Not To Take Isotretinoin

Real Talk: Why I Chose Not To Take Isotretinoin

Yesterday was the first time I ever visited a dermatologist. I always do my research before going ahead and making appointments, and this guy had a five star rating. All seemed good.

Before I get to the tea, here are a few things about my skin:

• I’ve got combination skin. This means my nose and the sides of my nose, my chin and bits of my forehead get oily.

• I don’t have a terrible acne issue. I’ve only got whiteheads.

• I accidentally pop the occasional pimple and I get scarring which often takes months to go away.

• I always use a sunscreen and moisturizer and exfoliate my skin twice a week. I use face masks, mostly homemade, once a week and I sheet-mask once in a while.

Now.

Your doctor is always supposed to take proper history before making any diagnosis or giving you any treatments. My dermatologist didn’t do that. All he asked me was, “What’s your issue?” and I told him about the whitehead issue and the scarring problem and he went ahead and gave me Isotretinoin. The next thing he did was hand me a leaflet with instructions as to how to proceed with the drug. And that was that.

If you’re someone who’s been on any Isotretinoin medication like Accutane, you’d know that the stuff works. BUT, you need to only take it if you’re suffering from terrible acne. It’s legit. You’ve to be very consistent with your routine and you’ve to avoid eating a lot of stuff. It’s a retinoic acid derivative and this makes it lipophilic. It also means if you’re on keto – a diet rich in fats and protein – you cannot continue with keto anymore. You can’t be consuming any vitamin A supplements. Dairy and sugar are also not recommended because Isotretinoin can mess with your cholesterol levels.

Also, if you’re planning on conceiving, you can’t. Isotretinoin potentially damages the fetus so you’ve to be on birth control for at two-ish years. People with PCOD say that Isotretinoin messes with their cycles.

If you’re a man and on Isotretinoin, you could be suffering from erectile dysfunction. It’s rare but it happens.

Also, during the first few weeks of the course, you’re probably going to experience a lot of dryness of the skin, sometimes your blood sugar levels (if you’re diabetic) won’t stay in check. There are so many contraindications again, it’s crazy. And so many adverse effects. I’ve only listed a few. You can do your own research before going ahead with the treatment, but I’ve chosen not to.

Also, I took a second opinion from someone else and I’ve been told that a chemical peel would fix it. There’s no need to apparently take pills that cause a million side effects than good.

Have you ever taken Isotretinoin?

10 Thoughts I Had While Working Out Earlier

10 Thoughts I Had While Working Out Earlier

• Ooh, when in doubt, post a listicle. I hate having to post when I’m not feeling creative at all, but I’m also doing the #365DayChallenge and I absolutely cannot break streak.

• I worked out for thirty whole minutes, why don’t I look like Chloe Ting yet? This Tingy isn’t working for me.

• Did it not occur to anybody else that the body positivity movement has been hijacked by people with unhealthy habits and who happen to be so obese that they think that’s the new normal? Or is it just me that thinks being morbidly is not okay and it shouldn’t be enabled?

• I need new gym shorts. I need new gym tights. I need thirty billion new sports bras in Pantone universe’s color of the year.

• Ooh, I’m going to eat some grilled cheese on Sunday. Why can’t Sunday come soon?

• I’m totally going bald because of excessive scalp sweat. That’s TMI, but we’re gonna roll with it.

• Zachary Levi is super cute. I cannot stop thinking about the fact that ADAM BRODY And OMG, Ross Butler from Riverdale had cameo roles in Shazam! Who else is obsessed with the movie?

• Speaking of movies, I wonder how many people have adopted Corgis after watching The Queen’s Corgi. I so want one.

• How often are you supposed to change your yoga mat?

• It’s been forever and I still don’t have the “11” shaped abs. I’m gonna go home and eat a whole tub of ice cream and regret for the rest of the night.

How to: Stay Civil with The Ex

How to: Stay Civil with The Ex

Most of us tend to have a lot of bitterness towards people that we no longer have a relationship with, the reasons often being:

• cheating issues

• trust issues

• money issues

• no closure

• all of the above.

There are friends of mine that have such bad memories with their exes, it’s hard to not be hostile. But then again, in a world that’s so twisted, rotten and divided, the least you could do is stay civil with the people you once loved. Here’s how:

• Forgiveness.

I’m not saying you need to go and become best friends with them: all I’m saying is you could be neutral and nice and not harbor murderous intentions towards them. No matter how difficult it is, the first step here would be to figure out a way to forgive them, if they’ve wronged you. Forgive yourself, if you’ve wronged them, and try not to repeat your mistakes. Life’s fair if you just let it be. Not to sound like a preachy moron, but it’s true.

• Closure.

Most past relationships often sour because there’s rarely ever any sort of closure. If you’ve decided to part ways, talk about it and do so. If you can’t talk about it immediately, give yourself and your ex space to heal, and then give each other closure. That’s how you end chapters. Clean. Messy endings are hella unsavory.

• Don’t badmouth them in front of your next.

This is where many of us make mistakes. Your new partner doesn’t need to hear you saying mean crap about your ex. Not only do they lose respect, you end up being bitter than ever.

• No rebounds.

This is the worst idea ever. You get into a relationship with someone new even when you don’t love them, and you’re constantly thinking of your ex and stalking them, and at some point there’s going to be this huge ugliness inside of you that won’t go away.

• Be friendly.

If you run into your ex, try to think of the positives. Be friendly if they say hey, but at the same time don’t let them back into your life unless you want to get back together.

Do you have a civil relationship with your ex? Or is it way more bitter than bitter coffee?

Medical Monday: Five Reasons Why You Should Sleep More

Medical Monday: Five Reasons Why You Should Sleep More

Much as I love to leave my readers hanging, I don’t recommend leaving your sleep duration unfinished. Everyone and their grandmas seem to have an issue with not getting enough sleep. As if Googling wasn’t enough, here are five legit reasons why you need to sleep more.

• You’ll be a lot less stressed out.

When you sleep very little, your cortisol levels are screwed. And you’ll be stressed, which you can actually prevent by getting more sleep. If you simply cannot sleep, or if you have insomnia, quit caffeine cold turkey and take Indian ginseng or Ashwagandha. I’ve talked about this a lot, and it is a natural adaptogen – which means it’ll adjust your stress hormones.

• Bye bye, dark circles.

Most people overlook the fact that one sure shot way to get rid of Master Shifu eyes is by getting a good night’s sleep every night. That, and some hydration.

Weight loss.

The hormones leptin and ghrelin, which essentially regulate appetite, have been found to be disrupted by lack of sleep. If you wish to maintain or lose weight, get seven hours of sleep. Also, when you’re catching some zzz’s, you won’t be getting the munchies and no stubborn fat will ever stick to your thighs and your hips and your butt. Yay.

Chase away the blues.

Sleep impacts the ratio and production of a lot of chemicals in your body, including serotonin. People with serotonin deficiencies are more prone to depression. Eat a banana everyday, because it helps regulate serotonin levels in the body, and get a good amount of sleep. You’ll be happier.

Boost your creativity.

A bunch of studies concluded that a good night’s sleep helps to consolidate memories, boosting your and making your memory stronger. Your cognitive function improves as you sleep sleep better, which may result in more creativity as well. So if you have one of those dry creative spells, try getting more sleep.

And guess what? All of the above pointers have actually worked for me.

I have a question for you guys: How many hours of sleep do you get each night, and do you think it’s enough?

Medical Monday: Ten Things Nobody Tells You About Depression

Medical Monday: Ten Things Nobody Tells You About Depression

I did a bit of a Q and A on my Instagram on Friday, and the results were appalling. Not only are people unaware of so much, they also choose to be driven by bigotry and they won’t change their mindsets. It’s 2019, folks, come on now.

If we can’t talk about mental health openly, NOW, when will we ever? Here are ten facts, from personal experience, that nobody tells you about mental health – specifically about depression.

• It can affect anyone.

Just because someone looks buff and strong and seems to be the epitome of badassery, doesn’t mean they’re not susceptible. Take it from someone who’s been there, seen people and experienced it all, first hand.

I know people that are doing great helping others, serving the community and are amazing – but they have been secretly depressed since forever. And the only thing they find solace in? Their jobs.

It never affects you on the daily, if you stay focused enough.

A genius (insert lethal dosage of sarcasm here) once told me that you can’t be a practicing doctor with depression and anxiety but that’s completely a myth. You can work wherever you like, and you can do whatever you want to do. As long as your depression is under control, and you’re doing something about it, you’re good to go. Just like everyone else you know.

Which brings me to point number three.

• Don’t be afraid to seek help.

If you’re feeling low, and anxious, and if you feel like you’re forgetting how to be happy, and you tell someone about it and you suspect you have depression – GET IT EVALUATED.

Prevention is always better than cure. Which is why, a trip to the counselor’s or therapist’s just to see what’s happening, isn’t going to hurt. If you’re not clinically diagnosed, and if you’re declared as not having any mental health issues, it’s such a relief too, right? Why would you want to waste time debating when you could actually go get a consult?

• Google isn’t your therapist. Google isn’t most certainly qualified to be your doctor.

There are people that go to med school, slog for about a decade and study the subject closely. Google never went to med school and Google never took semester exams – and that is precisely why you need to stop Googling your symptoms.

Depression can creep up on you when you’re not even suspecting it.

There’s a thing called seasonal affective disorder and it actually is a real thing. It’s seasonal, obviously, and is seen in a lot of adults. Abbreviated SAD, it’s precisely what it says it is – it makes you hella sad, and you won’t know what’s wrong with you.

It’s not something you can control, as you can never tell yourself to just snap out of it because that’s not how this guy works. When he drops in, he takes his sweet time. Or she.

• It’s accumulative.

One specific thing won’t cause it. It has to be a series of events. Lemony Snicket would know. So here’s what happens: something plus something again. Plus something more. Plus something else. And a million somethings. All add up. And then boom, you wake up with a stranger in your heart, you feel zapped and you don’t know why. And you don’t know why, because it’s not just one little or one specific thing.

• Yoga and meditation don’t actually help cure it, but can definitely help keep it from blowing up.

Both these things are specifically designed to calm the human mind, body and senses. Letting your feelings stay in a confined spot and letting your emotions not take over your body so bad that you’re on total autopilot, actually does help.

• Do not ASK to start medication till your doctor thinks it’s fit to.

I don’t believe in medication. I’m one of those people that believe in not resorting to last resorts. Which is why I always recommend talking about your feelings to your therapist. There’s a lot a conversation – a heart to heart conversation – can do. When you’re with your therapist, you’re interacting with another human being (in total confidentiality) one on one. The power of human interaction that’s not all about cellphones and Internet, is incredible.

Sweeping problems under the rug isn’t going to help at all.

Let’s say you have some issues and you’ve been paying zero attention to the problem and only been ignoring it because you’re sure you’ll forget about it and it won’t come back – think again. It’ll creep up on you. If you suspect you have it, talk to someone.

There’s no taboo. Nor is there glorification.

I got a direct message from a person who seemed to think that I was glorifying and also stigmatizing mental health problems by talking about in the first place. And it was so offensive to me because people are aware of so little. Why would someone glorify it when they’ve been through it, anyway?

And there’s supposed to be no stigma surrounding it either. It’s a growing problem that’ll just accumulate, like I explained earlier.

Footnote:

This same person expressed concern about people not having the time or resources to go to a doctor and using google as their only option.

Now, if someone has access to Google, they should be well aware of the fact that Government setups (in India, at least) exist for the sole purpose of catering to people and their healthcare needs at a very nominal cost. OPDs won’t charge you any money if you can’t afford it. No doctor is here to extort you, contrary to what you might think.

Speaking of having no time – I wonder what’s more important than your own health? Be it mental or otherwise?

Medical Monday: YOUR Myths, Debunked

Medical Monday: YOUR Myths, Debunked

People usually have a lot of medical myths that they’ve grown up following blindly. So I asked people on Instagram about this. And I picked six myths that seemed to be getting repeats.

• If you have hypothyroidism, you need to refrain from eating cabbage and also, soybean oil.

True.

Here’s why:

Thiocyanates, a sulfur-containing compound, make it difficult for the thyroid gland to absorb iodine and their effect can only be reduced when diet is supplemented with iodine. Vegetables like kale, radishes, sweet potato, canola, Brussels sprouts, and some cruciferous ones like cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli contain thiocyanates. Do the math.

Soy flavonoids, or soy isoflavones, restrict the enzymes needed to release iodine into the thyroid hormone. Studies have associated infants that were fed soy formula, with a higher risk of hypothyroidism and for later development of autoimmune thyroid diseases. Soy foods like as soybean oil, soy milk, tofu and other processed soy foods can decrease your thyroid function.

• Chewing gum takes seven years to pass through.

False.

Chewing gum base is indigestible and doesn’t stay in your body, yes, but it doesn’t stay in your body for that long. It passes through a couple days later. If you happen to get diarrhea from your chewing gum, check if it has sweeteners or claim to be natural. Some artificial sweeteners give you diarrhea because products like erythritol, a sugar alcohol, cause digestive issues when consumed in large amounts.

So how did this myth originate? Probably because concerned parents were afraid of choking hazards and gastrointestinal blockage and thought of ways to scare kids into refraining from chewing too much gum.

• Drinking milk after/ with fish or chicken, jackfruit, bitter gourd gives you diarrhea.

False.Taking chicken/fish before or with milk is said to cause vitiligo (leucoderma) which is primarily a condition caused due to melanin deficiency. The ‘white spots’ are caused when melanocytes stop functioning or die. Melanocytes are the cells in our skin, responsible for producing the pigment melanin, which in turn gives our skin its color. Scientists have been working to find the cause behind the condition and one of the most common reasons cited for the condition is said to be an auto-immune disorder in the person who is affected. Until now, no scientific evidence has traced links between the white spots and having milk after chicken.

Same goes for bitter gourd and jackfruit. The only way you’ll get diarrhea is if youwere lactose intolerant and didn’t know it.

• Eating loads of fenugreek makes you smell like maple syrup.

True.

Fenugreek is used as a galactagogue, to boost milk supply in breast-feeding mothers. If you keep increasing your intake when you’re feeding the baby, your urine and your sweat will start to smell like maple syrup. Some mothers notice a change within twenty four to seventy two hours, some show a change in a couple weeks, and some women find it ineffective.

Dosages of less than 3500 mg per DAY have been reported to produce no effect in many women.

• The heart feels emotions.

 

False.

Your heart alone has nothing to do with what you’re feeling. Mostly it’s your brain doing all the controlling. When you say your heart feels emotions, it’s just the surge of adrenaline that’s being pumped into your heart and accelerating the beats.

 

 

• An Apple a day keeps the doctor away.

False.

 

While there’s no denying that apples are healthy, because they’re low in calorie density, have pectin and vitamin C, act as toothbrush by cleansing your mouth, just apples alone won’t keep you disease-free.

You definitely need a balanced diet if you wanna keep the doctor away.

Photos from Google, and some of the information too. Had to double check my facts.