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Dr K K Aggarwal

When it comes to losing weight, cut down on liquid calories rather than food.

Body is able to self-regulate its intake of solid food. If you eat too much solid food at lunch, you’ll tend to eat less at dinner. But the same self-regulation is not in place for what you drink. The body does not adjust to liquid calories, so over time, you gain more weight.

Cutting back on calories from sugary drinks – by only one serving per day – can account for nearly two-and-a-half pounds of lost weight over 18 months.

Beverages are categorized into eight categories

1. Sugar-sweetened beverages (including soft drinks, fruit drinks, fruit punch, or high-calorie beverages sweetened with sugar)

2. Diet drinks such as diet soda and other diet drinks that were artificially sweetened

3. Milk (including whole milk, 2 percent milk, and 1 percent skim)

4. 100 percent fruit and vegetable juice

5. Coffee and tea with sugar

6. Coffee and tea without sugar

7. Alcoholic beverages

8. Water with no calories The best drinks are water, plain soda and tea/coffee with no sugar.

 

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The Tilak is not merely a beauty–enhancing mark, or a sign of religiosity. Hindu cultural traditions have given a significant place to wisdom in life. Life’s journey is guided by wisdom, which leads us through evolution of life towards salvation. If a man loses everything in his life but has his wisdom, he can recreate everything he has lost.

In Gayatri Mantra we chant, “May my Wisdom be enlightened and purified”. The worship that has been revered in the Vedas is symbolized in the Tilak. The seat of wisdom is the head and since the forehead is its front part, we worship wisdom by placing the Tilak on the forehead.

A Tilak is the ‘third eye’ in a manner of speaking. It is a divine eye which when ‘opened’ by divine knowledge shows the way to self–realization. Lord Shiva destroyed Kamadeva with his third eye, so too, we may destroy our desires and evil elements by striving for knowledge. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own

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The true silence is the silence between the thoughts and represents the true self, consciousness or the soul. It is a web of energized information ready to take all provided there is a right intent. The process of achieving silence is what meditation is. Observing silence is another way of getting benefits of meditation. Many yogis in the past have recommended and observed silence now and then. Mahatma Gandhi used to spend one day of each week in silence. He believed that abstaining from speaking brought him inner peace and happiness. All such days he used to communicated with others only by writing on paper. Hindu principles also talks about a correlation between mauna (silence) and shanty (harmony). Mauna Ekadashi is a ritual followed traditionally in our country. On this day the person is not supposed to speak at all and keep complete silence throughout day & night. It gives immense peace to the mind and strength to the body. In Jainism this ritual has a lot of importance. Nimith was a great saint in Jainism who long ago asked all Jains to observe this vrata. Some people recommend that on every ekadashi one should observe silence if not the whole day but for few hours in a day. Deepak Chopra in his book 7 Laws of Spiritual Success talks in great detail about the importance of observing silence in day today life. He recommends everyone should observe silence for 20 minutes everyday. Silence helps redirecting our imagination towards self from the outer atmosphere. Even Swami Sivananda in his teaches recommend to observe mauna daily for 2 hours for ekadashi, take milk and fruits everyday, study daily one chapter of Bhagwad Gita, do regular charity and donate one-tenth of the income in the welfare of the society. Ekadashi is the 11th day of Hindu lunar fortnight. Ekadashi is the day of celebration occurring twice a month, meant for meditation and increasing soul consciousness. Vinoba Bhave was the great sage of our country who is known for this bhoodaan movement. He was a great advocator and practical preacher of mauna vrata. Mauna means silence and vrata means bow hence mauna vrata means bow of silence. Mauna was practiced by saints to end enmity and recoup their enmity. Prolonged silence as the form of silence is observed by the rishi munis involved for prolonged periods of silence. Silence is a source of all that exists. Silence is where conscious dwells. There is no religious tradition which does not talk about silence. It removes worldly communication and forces a dialogue towards inner communication that one reason why all prayer, meditation and worship or any other practice whether we attune our mains to the spiritual consciousness within are done in silence. After the death of a person it is a practice to observe silence for two minutes. The immediate benefits is that it saves a tremendous amount of energy. Silence is cessation of both sensory and mental activity. It is like having a still mind and listening to the inner mind. Behind this screen of our internal dialogue is the silence of spirit. Meditation is the combination of observing silence and the art of observation. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own
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Energy drinks may raise blood pressure and prolong QT interval increasing the risk of sudden cardiac death. In a meta-analysis by Sachin A. Shah at University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif, with a pooled analysis of 93 people who consumed energy drinks, the QT interval on an ECG was significantly prolonged by 10 ms. The threshold level of regulatory concern is around 5 ms. In another pooled analysis of 132 people by the same group, researchers found a significant increase in systolic blood pressure by 3.5 mmHg that was associated with the consumption of energy drinks. Doctors are generally concerned if patients experience an additional 30 ms in their QT interval from baseline. QT prolongation is associated with life-threatening arrhythmias. Most energy drinks have caffeine. Drinks such as Monster, Red Bull, Rockstar, Full Throttle and AMP have three times the amount of caffeine as colas. A 16-oz. can of Monster Energy, for example, contains 160 mg of caffeine, which is almost as much as 5 cans of soda.
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Yoga Sutras of Patanjali define yoga as restraint of the mental states (Chapter 1.2). In the state of total restraint, the mind is devoid of any external object and is in its true self or the consciousness. To control the mind many Vedic scholars have given their own formulas. Being in touch with one’s own consciousness requires restraining of the mind, intellect and ego on one hand and the triad of rajas, tamas and satwa on the other hand. Every action leads to a memory, which in turn leads to a desire and with this a vicious cycle starts. The mental turmoil of thoughts can be equated to the internal noise and the external desires and objects to an external noise. The process of withdrawing from the external noise with an aim to start a journey inwards the silent field of awareness bypassing the internal noise is called pratihara by Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It involves living in a satwik atmosphere based on the dos and don’ts learnt over a period of time or as told by the scriptures. To control inner noise based thoughts we either need to neutralize negative thoughts by cultivating opposite thoughts or kill the origin of negative thoughts. Not allowing thoughts to occur has been one of the strategies mentioned by the scholars. One of them has been neti–neti by Yagnayakya. The other method is to pass through these inner thoughts and not get disturbed by it and that is what the process of meditation is. This can be equated to a situation where two people are talking in an atmosphere of loud external noise. For proper communication one will have to concentrate on each other’s voice for long till the external noise ceases to disturb. In meditation, one concentrates on the object of concentration to such an extent that the noisy thoughts cease to bother or exist. One of the ways mentioned by Adi Shankaracharya in Bhaja Govindam and by Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Chapter 2.35) is that whenever one is surrounded by evil or negative thoughts one should meditate open the contrary thoughts. For example, if one is feeling greedy, one can think of donating something to somebody. Deepak Chopra in his book Seven Laws of Spiritual Success talks in detail about the importance of giving and sharing. He says you should never visit friends or relations empty handed. You should always carry some gift of nature, which if nothing is available can be a simple smile, compliment or a flower. By repeatedly indulging into positive behavior and thoughts, you can reduce the internal noise, which helps in making the process of meditation or conscious living a simpler one. Washing out negative thoughts is another way mentioned by many Vedic scholars. Three minutes writing is one such exercise which anybody can do. Just before sleep anybody can do three minutes writing where you can write down all your emotions and then discard the paper. Another exercise is to reward or punish oneself at bed time for the activities done during the day by either patting or slapping yourself. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own.
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• Replace your contact lens case regularly. • Do not sleep or nap while wearing contact lenses. • Don’t swim or shower while wearing contact lenses. (Source: CDC)

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Consciousness is an energized field of information with powers to do everything in the universe. Collective consciousness is the internet of the collective souls of many people in a group. Collective consciousness is the strongest super power ever available in the universe. As per the Vedic texts whatever is the intent of collective consciousness will become a reality. Scientifically collective consciousness is based on the principle of critical mass. The Vedic literature has shown it to be the 1% of the defined population under study. The origin of the critical mass comes from 100th monkey phenomenon. The story goes as under: long ago in Japan a monkey called Emo used to eat dirty apples everyday picked up from the ground. One day by accident the apple fell down in a river, the dirt got washed off and he ate the washed apple. Obviously it tasted delicious. The monkey started washing the apple thereafter everyday before eating. His fellow monkey started following the same. The process of following went on. A time came when the 100th monkey washed the apple and ate. A strange phenomenon was noticed. All monkeys in and around that state started washing the apple before eating. The no. 100th was the critical mass. Once this mass is crossed the information well spread like a wild fire and the intent becomes a universal reality. Vedic literature has also shown if 1% of the public of any area meditates together the crime rate of that area goes down. It also talks about the role of critical mass in prayers in achieving miracles. Thus principle of critical mass is often used in designing and organizing an event. In a movie hall of 1000 people if 10 people clap sitting in different areas everybody will clap. The same is true for hooting of a particular scene. Most politicians use this principle when they organize election rallies. For a gathering of 10000 they need 100 and for a gathering of 1000 people they only need 10 supporters who are supposed to sit in different areas and shout or clap on given directions. Mexican way of hooting or clapping in cricket grounds also follow the same principle. Most successful leaders used this technology to lead. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own
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Consuming tobacco can increase the cardiovascular age of a person, which can be much higher than the biological age. Cardiovascular aging in chronic smokers can be 10 years more than the biological age. This can be calculated by measuring the wall thickness of the carotid neck artery supplying blood to the brain. Apart from that, one can also measure the endothelial functions of the brachial artery supplying blood to the hand. Cardiac age of a person is calculated by measuring the relaxation functions of the heart. With advancing age the heart fails to relax properly. This relaxation abnormality usually comes after the age of 60. If the same is seen at the age of 40, one knows what the biological age and cardiac age is. The good news is that cardiovascular age of a person can be regressed by quitting smoking and tobacco along with adoption of a healthy lifestyle including diet and exercise. Graying of the hair may not be sufficient to know the age of a person. Today, it is the cardiovascular age which is important.

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