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Unhealthy portrait of a man

It’s Friday night and Jolly has planned a big game night with his friends. After working hard throughout the week, he has earned a night of fun.

So Jolly spends the entire night playing on his PlayStation. To go along with it, he binges on a large double-cheese pizza and falls asleep the moment he hits the bed.

The next morning, Jolly is so muzzy that he can barely open his eyes, his head is hurting and he is in a lethargic state of mind.

Jolly wants to sleep more but he can’t because it is a Saturday. So, he spends the entire day binge-watching his favorite TV shows and gorging on greasy Chinese.

He spends the Sunday in bed because he is just feeling lazy.

Then the week begins. A week of not having had enough sleep, tiredness, spending long hours on the office chair, working constantly before a computer screen and waiting for Friday to arrive.

This is the vicious Eat-work-sleep-repeat pattern Jolly has been living for years now without realizing that it is taking a toll on his physical and mental health. Now that is definitely not what we call a healthy lifestyle.

Most of us, like Jolly, are plagued with unhealthy lifestyle choices which are slowly steering us away from a healthy and happy life.

In our humdrum lives, we often tend to eat at odd hours or skip food altogether and then gorge on whatever unhealthy food that comes our way when we are hungry (or even when we are not!)

We spend seven out of eight hours glued to our office chairs, work a little too much, so much that all we do five days a week is nothing but work. We are so engrossed in completing targets and meeting deadlines that we forget we’ve been sitting in one place all day long.

Most of us often experience back and neck pains at a very early age. Of course, with all the slouching on the chair, constantly cramming our necks into computer and phone screens, and little respect for our back posture we have no idea what it does to our backs.

As the day ends, we are so tired that we could sleep. But rather than sleeping early, we end up spending hours watching television. Also, living in the social media age, it is sort of important that we know everything about everybody. So we scroll through our social media accounts late into the night.

By the time we feel groggy-eyed its way past midnight which means we have to compromise on our sleep to make it to the office in time the next day.

Juggling between work and staying up-to-date with everyone, we barely find time to concentrate on fitness and healthy eating, sign-up for workouts or even stretch our body a little.

To put it simply, we treat our bodies awfully!

Isn’t it too much effort to eat healthy foods? Drink enough water? Try to go for a run? Find some time for breakfast? Eat fruits?

Now, we may manage to find time for staying fit and healthy but we end up neglecting our mental health. So to make up for it, we start indulging (sometimes overindulging) into certain habits despite their repercussions.

Think about it! The body that houses our soul needs to be protected if we want to have a happy mind, happy life. It is important to provide our soul some nourishment-take up some art, catch on sleep that we’ve missed, stand and stare at nature once a while, indulge in some healthy eating, smile, and work towards a happy life.

Life is fleeting and fast and if we don’t understand what a healthy lifestyle is, we may lose out on the simple joys of life. However, it is never too late to make changes in life.

So relax and take a deep breath for you are not alone in your journey. Jolly well will help you make a healthy lifestyle a habit through its habit coach.

Habit coach aims at helping you make the right life choices and keeps you motivated throughout your journey because we believe that a healthy life is a happy life.

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

So, you’ve decided to be healthy. You’re eating the right kind of food, exercising daily, and staying active. And yet, you’re still tired, you’re still moody and you have deep dark circles under your eyes. What’s missing from this (almost) healthy lifestyle?

A few hours of zzzzz’s.

Sleep can be a potent force in our lives – but it has to be used correctly. Many of us can’t relax enough to sleep early and as a result, we wake up late the next morning – it’s a vicious cycle. However, if you’re diligent and stick to a sleep schedule you’ll wake up with a brighter smile, a fresher mind, and a body thrumming with energy to take on the day. (Also, you’ll get to sleep more). But if you still need to be convinced, here are just a few health benefits of a regular sleep cycle:

  • Memory – One of the biggest benefits of a full night’s rest is that it boosts your memory. Even when you’re asleep, your brain is still working, absorbing what you have gone through during the day. Chances are if you’re learning a new language or skill, a good night’s rest will ensure that you remember it a lot faster.
  • Longevity: Many stories will have you believe that the key to immortality or long lives lies in magic, elixirs, and potions. While we’re not aiming for immortality here, studies have shown that too little or too much sleep can cut into your lifespan. On the flip side, just the right amount of sleep could help you live longer. It’s all the magic you need.
  • Mood: This one is fairly obvious – too little or too much sleep can blot out your jolly side, and leave you cranky as a bear. It can make you feel incredibly stressed over normal situations, which in turn can increase your blood pressure significantly.
  • Weight control: It’s ironic that many consider sleeping a form of “slacking off”. It’s seen as lazy and indulgent and detrimental to losing weight. However, sleep is a key player in the weight loss game. The reasons are both psychological (how are you supposed to gather up the energy to exercise on no sleep?) and biological (a hormone known as leptin keeps your stomach full. Less sleep means a drop in your leptin levels).
  • Mental health: A lack of sleep can lower your defenses to mental health issues like anxiety, panic, and depression. Sleep and mental health are intricately connected and many patients who suffer from depression, point to a clear lack/ excess of sleep in their life.
  • Prevents diseases: A proper sleep cycle can reduce the chance of heart disease, strokes, inflammation, cell damage, diabetes, and more. It strengthens your immune system, giving you the opportunity to fight off infections and viruses.

Need we say more?

So tonight, have a soothing bath, change into your comfiest pajamas and cuddle under the covers. Make sure you avoid your phone, laptop, or a book. Take a few deep breaths and let the tension seep out of your muscles. Close your eyes and drift away from your day. Trust us, you’ll reap the rewards tomorrow.

Good night!

Rise and Fall – The Rhythms of the Sun

Most of us start the morning with the shrill buzz of an alarm. We leap, roll, or drag ourselves out of bed to face the day ahead. In the evening, our shoulders droop a little. The day is long and packed with work or studying, interacting with people around us, carrying out the small tasks that make up every day of our lives. It’s stressful and busy and sometimes we wonder if we can keep up with the life we have built for ourselves. However, there are small, precious, and joyful moments that can truly lighten our hearts and make us feel grateful. All you have to do, every morning and night, is tilt your head, open your eyes, and look up towards the sun – both the rise and the set.

Many people overlook the sunrise and sunset. We’re often sleeping, tired, or too busy to appreciate this natural wonder. It’s been proven that if you do stop for a few minutes to witness this stunning natural phenomenon, it can be incredibly soothing for your mental health. Here are some reasons to pause and look at the great giant in the sky.

Time Traveller: How many of us appreciate the time we’re given on this earth? It often feels like big chunks of hours are slipping by without us noticing. Watching the sunrise or sunset – or both – can give you a great perspective on time. As the sun rises, think to yourself – what can I achieve today? Or when the sun sets, think of the things you are grateful for. These moments provide great bookends to the day.

True Colours: If you’re a regular witness to the sun’s rise and fall, you’ll notice that every day is a different painting- splashes of deep pink, the ruddy glow of red, inky blue, and white puffs of clouds. Every day is a different sky and every day is a different you.

Perfect Peace: Taking time out of your day to watch the sun’s journey is a way to slow down and witness a silent and profound spectacle. It is, even for five minutes, a moment that is completely yours. There’s no artificiality or garishness – just a profound moment between you and nature.

Rise or Set: Sometimes, it’s not possible to catch the morning sun or its evening counterpart. Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, the sun gives us enough chances to witness its majesty. You can wake up to a beautiful sight, or treat it as the start to a great night.

A Free Ride: “There are no free lunches”. How many times do we look at our wallets dismayed that we can’t pay for something – a movie, a show, an art gallery? We often forget that some of the most authentic and beautiful experiences are entirely free, with a front-row seat reserved just for us.

The Endless Joy of Endorphins

“Happiness comes from within” – is just one way to explain the wonder that is endorphins. But first, let’s clear the air about these happy chemicals in our bodies. What are they and how do they make our lives jolly?

Let’s get the science out of the way – endorphins (full name: endogenous opioid neuropeptides) are peptide hormones produced by both humans and animals. The term was coined from endogenous (from within) and morphine (a painkiller). These happy go healthy hormones interact with the receptors in the brain and help create a sense of euphoria, focus and strength. Endorphins can also reduce the impact of pain on the body and have great benefits on your mental state.

Where do they come from? Endorphins are produced by the central nervous system and the pituitary gland. The gland produces endorphins based on signals from the brain, which then bind with neuron receptors creating that feeling of bliss and well-being. Is this the science behind happiness? You betcha!

Endorphins are the embodiment of protection and self-care. In times of stress or pain, the body automatically starts to produce endorphins to help us cope with the situation. Situations like exercise and eating spicy food can trigger the release of these happy hormones. It’s our body’s way of taking care of us and it benefits us in many ways:

  • Pain: As mentioned previously, endorphins reduce pain (they’re named after morphine.). They block the pain receptors in the brain allowing you a certain amount of relief.
  • Mental Health: Depression has many causes – one of them has to do with chemicals in the brain. Many therapists advocate exercise to release the endorphins that patients suffering from depression need.
  • Sleep: The term endorphin has many layers – the second half is inspired by the word morphine, which was inspired by Morpheus, the Greek God of Sleep. That’s right; endorphins even help you sleep better.
  • Exercise: Endorphins are the main reason why we have gym freaks. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of satisfaction after a grueling workout. As we push our bodies into exercise routines, endorphins are released to reduce the stress of this situation. This is known as the “Runner’s high”.
  • Blood Pressure: Stress and blood pressure go hand in hand. Our daily lives can sometimes feel like they are governed by stress. In this sense, the release of happy chemicals help ameliorate a stressful situation and in turn have an effect on blood pressure.
  • Laughter: Although scientists are yet to determine a direct link between laughter and endorphins, laughing certainly releases those feel-good chemicals, boosting your mood and your day.

These are just a few advantages of endorphins. But how can we incorporate more endorphins in our lives? Fortunately, exercise is just one way to do this. There are simple things you can do to release them – eating dark chocolate, listening or dancing to music, soaking up some warm rays of sunshine, meditation and breathing, acupuncture, and more. There is so much room in our lives for happiness.

Currently, scientists are still trying to understand this little spring of happiness and joy within us. And while they do, all the rest of us have to do is sit back and enjoy.

The plant-based advantage

If you have ever taken a vitamin or mineral supplement and not experienced a difference in how you look or feel, it could be because of low bioavailability. Artificial vitamins can often pass through our body without being absorbed. Plant-based supplements are better. 

Plant-based supplements are made from the same ingredients we use to cook food at home – vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, spices, bark, flowers, and leaves. The exact blend of ingredients depends upon the purpose of the supplement and hence the kind of nutrients needed. 

Typically, the composition comprises plants that are already naturally high in the desired macro and micro nutrients. Different methods are then used to extract the nutrients and formulate a supplement that can satisfy the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of those nutrients.

Plant-based supplements offer multiple advantages, including:

Better Bioavailability

Bioavailability signifies how easily the body can absorb a specific nutrient or set of nutrients. Recent scientific studies indicate that healthy, whole plant foods are the foundation of a nutritionally complete diet.[1] This includes the supplements we use to maintain our health. The best supplements are those that our body is naturally equipped to handle, in other words — they’re plant-based. Though our early ancestors were omnivores, our bodies have evolved over time to efficiently use nutrients from plant based sources.

Lesser Risk of Toxicity 

In some cases, consuming excess of a particular mineral can be harmful. Plant-based supplements inherently have a lower risk of toxicity than artificial or animal-based ones. For example, a plant-based iron supplement is less toxic than animal-sourced iron supplements.[2]

Added Cofactors & Co-nutrients

Plants contain a complete range of vitamins, minerals, aromatic oils, and phytonutrients.[3] In many cases, these co-nutrients work together to provide the observed benefits. In the case of synthetic supplements, when we isolate specific compounds, we may get the leader of the pack, but leave out the essential supporting players. This does not happen with plant-based supplements. 

Here are some vital cofactors & co-nutrients in plants that synthetic supplements may exclude:

  • Plant pigments: chlorophyll, curcumin, flavonoids, carotenoids, lutein, anthocyanins
  • Flavonoids: catechins, quercetin, polyphenols
  • Aromatic compounds: allicin, sulforaphane, carvacrol, thymol
  • Alkaloids: caffeine, quinine, theobromine, piperine
  • Enzymes: protease, cellulase, amylase, nattokinase, lipase
  • Terpenoids: saponins, limonene, phytosterols, oleanolic acid
  • Polysaccharides: cellulose, acemannan, pectin, hemicellulose

Natural Taste & Smell

The best part of plant-based supplements is that we know what we are getting. They normally don’t contain the synthetic fillers, toxic chemicals, and artificial sweeteners present in other supplements. Plants include oils and other constituents that provide the natural smells and tastes absent in lab-grown vitamins.


  1. Tuso, P.J., et al. “Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets.” The Permanente Journal 17.2 (2013): 61–66. PMC. Web. 9 Aug. 2017.
  2. “Absorption of Minerals and Metals.” Colorado State, n.d. Web. 09 Aug. 2017.
  3. Shahidi, F. “Nutraceuticals, Functional Foods and Dietary Supplements in Health and Disease.” Journal of Food and Drug Analysis. 2012;20(1) 2012,226-230.

Adapted from Plant-Based Supplements: The New Frontier of Supplements by Dr Edward F Group, MD. Published Oct 2017.

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