Corporate Dining: Eating Healthy in the Office (Pt. 2)

Originally posted on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

As discussed in part 1 of my blog, eating healthy in the workplace does not have to be as difficult as it sounds. While it can be challenging depending on your workload and free time, there are smaller, everyday acts of wellness that can prove beneficial in the long run.

Drink Water

An obvious consideration for anyone, drinking water throughout the day (preferably 1-2 liters) not only keeps you hydrated, but can also improve your focus, concentration, and decision-making skills. Coffee isn’t the only beverage that can give you that extra kick. Dehydration is a large reason why workers feel fatigued toward the end of the day. Drinking water can prevent this and boost your productivity.

Meal Prep

Controlling your nutritional intake is as simple as cooking for yourself the night before. You can choose to do this daily, or prep for the week the Sunday before. With this route, you have the option of controlling your portion sizes, incorporating fruits and vegetables, including healthy snacks, all the while saving time and money. There are many blogs out there today offering some of the easiest, most delicious meal prep ideas, one of the best being BudgetBytes.com.

Decompress

Something that often falls by the wayside is stepping away from the office setting to eat. It’s very easy to want to eat at your desk and continue working, but remaining in an office environment and failing to decompress will prevent you from enjoying your meals. Given that breaks are encouraged in most work settings, one should always utilize this time spent away from the desk and enjoy the opportunity to destress. Bringing a packed lunch outside allows employees to feel refreshed upon returning to work.

Remain Resilient

Offices are commonplace for celebratory events, whether they be birthdays, goodbye parties, or promotions. With celebratory events typically comes cake, pizza, or unhealthy foods in general. Of course, indulging is okay if done in moderation, but being able to say “No, thank you” can go a long way. It may even become habitual after a while. Whether your coworker’s birthday merits an enormous chocolate cake, or your desk-mate wants to visit pizza shop down the street, remaining resilient and sticking to your nutritional morals can pay off both mentally and physically.

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How Harmful Are E-Cigarettes?

Originally published on DrZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

A fairly recent trend that has taken over the world of smoking, e-cigarettes have been at the center of controversy since their inception in 2003. Many people argue whether or not these products are actually better for you than traditional cigarettes, or worse. Unfortunately, because of many professionals inexperience with this new trend, no long-term safety regulations exist regarding e-cigarettes, leaving many to believe that they come with both benefits and a number of health issues.

It is widely believed that e-cigarettes are almost guaranteed to be safer than their conventional cousins given the fact that they kill roughly 480,000 people every single year. Traditional cigarettes come with an array of health issues including, but not limited to, heart attack, asthma, cancers of various forms, diabetes, and respiratory infections. The harmful chemicals found within a single cigarette are enough to physically age the human body, which, over time, can take about 10 years off of your life.

The smoke created from cigarettes contains noxious gases like carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide. E-cigarettes, on the other hand, produces a somewhat safer vapor created by a liquid combination of nicotine, standard flavorings, and glycerol. Many smokers have even chose to switch to e-cigarettes in an attempt to (eventually) quit entirely, though this is not exactly a proven method. While some have found success in doing so, others were tempted to smoke even more.

The nicotine found in e-cigarettes can be just as harmful as that found in standard cigarettes. Chronic exposure of either kind has been found to contribute to type 2 diabetes, increased heart rate, and high blood pressure. Because of its addictive nature, e-cigarettes can be just as difficult to quit as normal ones, and may even lead to addiction of other drugs in adolescents who are still undergoing prefrontal brain development.

There many flavors also make them somewhat of a family hazard as well given that they are often listed as candy flavored or fruity, making them appealing to younger children. If the “e-liquid” found in cartridges is ingested orally, poisoning can result in vomiting, redness, blurred vision, headaches, and more. Some e-liquids even contain the chemical diacetyl, which has been found to cause bronchiolitis obliterans; a rare lung disease that can cause permanent damage to one’s bronchioles.

In conclusion, smokers who may be looking for alternatives could find solace in e-cigarettes, though they should still be aware of the lingering health issues. Those who do not smoke at all should avoid e-cigarettes altogether. Developing an addiction for these could prove very harmful for one’s long-term health. Seeing as the use of these products is continuing to grow, it is becoming a concern. Doctors and pediatricians alike should clearly explain the potential health issues that come with e-cigarettes to all of their patients in an effort to combat this growth.

Best Methods for a Low-Carb Diet

Originally published on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

Individuals on low-carb diets may find it difficult to provide their bodies with satisfaction in terms of food, but lowering one’s intake of carbohydrates can be incredibly beneficial health-wise. While these compounds are essential for energy, many people replace carbs with proteins, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables. So, why partake in a low-carb diet?

One of the more popular reasons why people choose to go on low-carb diets is because they are looking to lose weight. The notion of ‘carbs = fat’ is fairly common, and while it does hold some truth, it should not be the entire basis for choosing this diet.

Because the human body stores carbohydrates, which can later become fat if not used for energy, many people seem to think that cutting out carbs entirely will result in no fat gained. However, research has shown that after 12 months, individuals on a low-carb diet did not lose more weight than those on a low-fat diet. This can make finding the right balance challenging. But, the following tips can help alleviate those challenges, and help you stick your low-carb fast.

Know Low-Carbs

There are many foods available that are low in carbohydrates, including lean meats such as chicken, pork, or sirloin. Others include fish, eggs, leafy green vegetables, nuts, apples, and blueberries. If cutting dairy out of your diet proves more challenging than expected, whole milk and plain Greek yogurt are low-carb as well.

Plan Your Meals

Planning your meals ahead of time can save a lot of hassle, especially for those with strict dietary restrictions. Knowing what you are going to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day that week is a great way to prevent you from falling off the wagon. Similar to this tactic, meal prepping is just as, if not more effective. Cooking and creating all of your meals for the week allows you to stick to this diet, and avoid giving into cravings such as sweets or fast food. Additionally, this can save you a decent amount of money in the long run.

Know the Different Carbs

Carbohydrates can be categorized as simple or complex. Simple carbs are comprised of easy sugars to digest, which include white sugar and flour. Complex carbs take much longer to digest, and are found in nutrient-rich foods like beans, whole grains, and fiber-heavy fruits. These also tend to make people feel fuller faster. When on a low-carb diet, try to reduce your intake of refined or processed carbs.

Corporate Dining: Eating Healthy in the Office (Pt. 1)

Originally published on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

pexels-photo-414262-205x300Eating healthy and exercising are not often at the forethought of someone in an office setting, but being more mindful of these factors can go a long way in terms of one’s health. Below are a few tips that may help even the most business-oriented individual become more aware of his or her overall health in the workplace.

Know Yourself

To begin a health journey in an office setting, the first step is understanding your daily eating habits and regular patterns. Something that may help those who mindlessly snack or eat is keeping a diary and making note of when and what you eat in a normal day. For example, it’s easy to indulge in unhealthy snacks or meals on a Friday or during a stressful day. Remember this habit and actively work to combat it.

If this is a new practice for you, do your best in understanding that eating healthy should not be seen as tortuous, but rather a journey toward bettering yourself. Always highlight the positives, whether that be weight loss, higher levels of energy, or improved skin quality.

Always Break Your Fast

It’s been said time and time again; “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” and there is some truth behind that. Beginning your day with a nutritious, filling meal gives you the energy levels required to properly wake up and avoid that ever-dreaded morning slump. Your brain will be highly functioning at an hour where most people are still struggling to get out of bed, and you won’t hear the sounds of your own stomach growling until closer to lunchtime.

Fulfilling breakfasts can not only wake you up and provide abundant nutrients, but they can also improve your memory and concentration, promote weight loss, and give you an overall better mood.

Fill Your Desk with Snacks

Healthy snacks, that is. If you are only able to squeeze in a small breakfast before work hours, having healthy snacks in your desk drawer can prevent early morning hunger while also providing the nutrients your breakfast, or lack thereof, may not have been able to offer. Snacks like protein bars, peanuts or almonds, trail mix, or fruit and vegetables (so long as you have a refrigerator) are perfect fillers.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog series which will include even more tips and tricks on how to effectively eat healthy in fast-paced business settings!

The Connection Between Age and Supplements

Originally published on DrZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

Incorporating additional vitamins and supplements in your diet that you may not be receiving otherwise should be a necessity for all people. However, the age at which you begin to take these can affect how your body reacts to them.

There are many reasons why products like energy drinks are marketed toward younger demographics, while supplements intended to prevent pain or promote the growth of certain hormones are meant for older generations. Two factors to take into consideration are biology and chronology.

One’s chronological age is that which cannot be changed. From the day you are born up until this very moment, you are exactly however many days old. Your biological age can be measured based on your physical health, which people have more control over. This includes weight, skin and hair quality, energy levels, and internal organ health. Both your chronological and biological age can affect one another, however, which should be considered when deciding which supplements would be the most beneficial for you.

Supplements are specifically designed to assist one’s current physical health as opposed to their exact age. For example, if  teenagers were to take supplements aimed at promoting bone growth, it wouldn’t do much good seeing as they are still in the growing stages themselves. So, what supplements exactly are best for younger individuals?

Taking into account that younger generations are still growing or developing, supplements like pre-workout stimulants, fat burners, and muscle enhancers tend to be the most beneficial. People with low biological ages can handle any side effects that come with these supplements better than those who may be older, as well. Those who are much higher in either chronological or biological age may experience discomfort when taking these specific supplements.

Older generations are at more risk of contracting diseases, ailments, or chronic conditions given their much more sedentary lifestyles. These can range from joint pain, to muscular complications, to more severe conditions like heart disease or arthritis. To combat these issues, supplements specifically designed for each are always helpful. Anti-inflammatory supplements like curcumin can help with pain. Those that improve focus and mental health are great for individuals in their 70’s or 80’s to prevent different forms of dementia. Depending on which physical complication needs to be addressed, there are more than likely several supplements on the market designed to combat them.

Always be mindful of how many supplements you are taking. Nearly every doctor will instruct you to understand your limits and not abuse any supplement in the slightest. Your overall health is the best indicator of what you may need assistance in, and to take anything else for any other reason may prove detrimental. Talk to your doctor before adding any supplement to your diet to ensure it is the best one for you.

The Importance of Prebiotics

Many people overlook prebiotics in their diet. Defined as indigestible fiber that promotes the reproduction and activity of beneficial bacteria and fungi, they play an important role in health and wellness.

Prebiotics vs Probiotics: What’s the Difference?

It’s a common assumption that prebiotics are the same as probiotics. The truth, however, is that prebiotics complement and improve the beneficial effects of probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria created through fermentation whereas prebiotics consists of fibrous plant matter from fruits and vegetables that supports probiotics.

Stronger Immune System

One of the health benefits of prebiotics is a stronger immune system. When consumed, they work harmoniously with the body’s good bacteria so that it can fight off illness-causing microorganisms. According to one study, people who consume prebiotic-rich foods on a regular basis are less likely to become infected with influenza than their counterparts who omit this substance from their diet.

Improved Digestion

Prebiotics also support a healthy digestive system. When bad bacteria and fungi in the gut remain unchecked, they will quickly spread and wreak havoc on the digestive system. This often leads to digestive problems like gas, bloating, heartburn, stomach cramps, constipation and nausea. Prebiotics protect against digestive distress by assisting probiotics in neutralizing bad microorganisms in the gut.

Stronger Bones

A health benefit of prebiotics that’s often overlooked is stronger bones. Bone strength is heavily influenced by the mineral calcium. But it’s not the amount of calcium a person consumes that will affect his or her bone strength; it’s the amount that’s absorbed by his or her body. Research has shown that prebiotics improve the absorption of many nutrients, including calcium. Therefore, prebiotics promote strong, healthy bones while protecting against diseases like osteoporosis in the process.

Improved Heart Health

Finally, prebiotics promote a healthy heart by reducing bodily inflammation and lowering blood triglyceride levels. This allows blood to flow throughout the body with greater ease, thus reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease. There’s also some belief that prebiotics can lower stress levels, which may also have a positive impact on heart health.

While prebiotics offer a wide range of health benefits, they should be consumed in conjunction with probiotics. Prebiotics act as food for probiotics, stimulating their activity and encouraging reproduction so that they can neutralize harmful microorganisms in the body more effectively.

Originally published on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

Avicii’s Impact on EDM

Avicii_@_London_tentparty-e1526578415794The world was in shock when news broke on April 20th that Swedish DJ Avicii had died. Just 28 years old, the EDM hero passed away in Muscat, Oman, leaving music fans around the world reeling. As one of the most popular DJs in the world, Avicii inspired countless up-and-coming artists and helped bring EDM into the spotlight. Let’s take a look at how this incredible musician shaped the industry.

Avicii, whose real name was Tim Bergling, rose to fame incredibly quickly, barely out of his teens when he began headlining shows. His big break came in 2011, with the insane success of his song “Levels.” The song remains one of the genre’s biggest crossover hits of all time, proving equally successful at EDM festivals as on mainstream radio. It was especially popular in America, making Avicii one of the first EDM acts to really make a name for himself in the country. DJs are often faceless names behind popular songs, but Avicii became a celebrity in his own right, selling out shows and living like a real rock star.

Avicii’s popularity was not unfounded, however. He possessed talent in spades and took risks that paid off for both him and the EDM industry. Constantly innovating, his catalogue of hits includes tracks with influences from pop, soul, rock, and dozens of other genres of music. Avicii truly changed the game when he released his runaway hit “Wake Me Up” in 2013, which fused EDM and country – something no other DJ had attempted before.

Although the track was divisive among critics, it showed Avicii’s ingenuity and commitment to breaking the EDM mold when so many DJs were pumping out music that all sounded the same. The last LP released before his death continues this departure from the typical, exploring new folktronica styles.

With his incredible success, Bergling made sure to give back. He donated millions of dollars to charity over the course of his career, including Feeding America. He also used his creativity to benefit the less fortunate, directing two music videos designed to show the negative effects of gang violence and human trafficking. He knew that he had a powerful voice and was committed to using it for good, even within an industry known for partying. To put it simply – Avicii was truly a good guy and will surely be missed.