Sunday, October 21, 2012

Best Advice Ever on Post-pregnancy Weight & Appetite Management by Nutritionist Rashi Chowdhary

It’s been over a year since I popped my son, but the post-pregnancy weight – well, that’s just taken long term residence in my body :-). I wrote to the gorgeous Rashi Chowdhary, Dubai based nutritionist and an inch-loss expert, asking her thoughts on how to deal with postpartum weight and the humongous appetite increase thanks to nursing. Below is her awesome advice on how to move forward.

Rashi Chowdhary E 
Lets do some ground work here! There are couple of basic really important things new mums need to keep in mind before dropping those pounds.

1.Healthy milk = Healthy baby
For the first 4 months, do not complicate your life by counting calories/ cutting down carbs or watching your fat intake.

Going very low on calories will lead to a nutritionally deficient diet as well, which could bring down your energy levels and reduce your milk supply. That’s the last thing you want for your newly born. Breast milk is the best for your baby, and the benefits extend well beyond basic nutrition.

2. Don't be in a rush
Give yourself a good 8-10 months to get back to your pre pregnancy weight. So take it easy and start only after about 3-4 months.

3. Be size wise
In fact, its the worst time to judge your progress by how much you weigh.Your aim should be to get back to your pre pregnancy size. Most women lose weight on the scale but feel unhappy about the way their jeans look on them. Now would be a good time to introduce yourself to weight training and build up some healthy muscle mass. This guarantees lesser stretch marks, a healthier fat to muscle ratio and a tighter ass!

4.A quick fix is never a good fix!
No matter how desperate you are, do not take up a plan that involves you to "give up" a certain food group. The key to healthy weight loss is a great balanced mix of all the nutrients, water, food supplements and occasional treats you love! So lose weight in the real world and not at the cost of your social life!!

Talking about appetite...

If you are complaining of not being able to bring back your pre-pregnancy appetite, you've got to snooze to lose! Now I know, with your baby constantly craving for your attention, this is easier said than done.

But when you don't sleep well, your body does not release the appetite hormone " leptin" in adequate amounts. Leptin is the satiety hormone, it gives your brain the signal to stop eating when your stomach is full.

But if you do not have enough of the hormone leptin then you are never full or satisfied and feel the need to constantly feed yourself.

If you're done with erratic baby timings and are now getting restful sleep but still have a bigger appetite then you are definitely doing something wrong.

And "NO" its not about will power, it's all about chemistry, it's about your hormones being out of whack.

Your appetite is regulated by a complex system and the real story is much more complicated than you think.

There are some easy steps you can take initially to bring your appetite back to normal.

1. A difficult birth or a cesarean puts you at risk of low iron levels so I recommend new moms to wake up to iron rich fruits or dry fruits. Four to five apricots and some blue berries would be ideal. The vitamin C from the berries will help better absorption of iron from the apricots. You'll get a whole lot of antioxidants and Vitamin A right at the start of your day. But the trick is to eat is within the 1st  20 minutes of waking up before your tea/ coffee or green tea.

2. You need to eat every 2-3 hours and this is no new news! But if you're going to keep biscuits or processed junk as your back up snack then eating like this will only work against your metabolism.

If you are looking to reduce your appetite and losing inches, then you need to get smart with your snack options!

You've gotta eat fat to burn when I say fat, think avocados, nuts, washed olives, whole eggs and organic peanut butter. All of these have a very minimal effect on your glucose levels. When your glucose levels are in control, your body is more receptive to insulin. Keep your insulin levels in check and you've rid yourself of many lifestyle diseases.

3. Protein works as a great metabolic booster, you burn more calories while digesting them. Protein is a fabulous way to suppress your appetite naturally. In fact, most of my clients in Dubai have very low intake of protein through the day. So I recommend organic soy milk, sprouts or yoghurt with walnuts as mid meals.

4. Now, this is a complete cliché but if your body is dehydrated then your body cells cannot communicate with each other efficiently and your food nutrients are not well absorbed. Having three liters of water daily will ensure a better functioning liver and a quicker metabolism. 

5. Refrain from processed packaged food as these will only rob your body off essential nutrients. Stick to foods close to their natural original form Always!

6.Start moving!! You cannot expect to see your body shape change if you don't make changes in your activity levels.

Depending on how fit you were pre pregnancy choose a fitness regime that works for you and STICK TO IT!

I'm sure all of these done together will make a big difference to the way you think and feel which will eventually lead to Healthy Inch loss.

P.S. I highly recommend Rashi’s Facebook page where she offers great advice on a variety of health and nutrition related topics.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Real Parties in Dubai: Little Mermaid Themed Birthday Party

Little Mermaid Theme Party

I am swoooning over this Mermaid themed birthday party organised by the very creative team at 3flowers. They had me at those gorgeous mermaid costumes for all the little guests. Big task but what fun!!

Little Mermaid Theme PartyLittle Mermaid Theme PartyLittle Mermaid Theme Party

Sadly, when I wrote to them inquiring about the party details, I was informed that they no longer live in Dubai and have moved to Switzerland. But there is so much inspiration in these pictures that I had to share them. Such a girly theme this is :-)

P.S. Lots more inspiration on mermaid theme parties here and here.

P.P.S. More ‘Real Parties’ posts here featured on the blog including Parisian, Airline, Bollywood, Baby Einstein and Circus themes.

(Images courtesy

Monday, October 15, 2012

DIY Festive/Diwali Gift Baskets

Gift baskets are an essential part of most festivities in the Indian tradition, and Diwali is no different. The foodie in me always loves to unfold a gift basket as they usually come loaded with delicacies. And of course, your excitement towards a gift basket is directly proportional to the way it’s looking (read wrapped). :-)

So continuing with the festive spirit on Lifealicious, I am so excited to introduce Vinita Kundani to you, a genius when it comes to wrapping presents. She shares with us a simple and quick way to decorate baskets this Diwali or for any traditional occasion really.

Festive  Diwali Basket Wrapping DIY

1: A simple cane basket - how the original one we used looked like
2: Materials needed:
* Fabrics such as satin, organza, net, to cover basket and ribbon, to cover handle
* Embellishments
(If you wear Indian, you can easily reuse borders of sarees, dupattas, etc.) 
* Gun glue (not shown in the image) 
3/4/5: Wrap fabric around the basket, we used a pink shimmery satin fabric for the base, and ribbon around the handle - we used one in gold organza. With the help of gun glue, fold and fix around the basket 
6: Fabric covered basket 
7: Embellishments stuck on the handle using gun glue. You could either stop here or add a bow as described in the next step 
8: Make a bow using a net fabric and add an embellishment.

Festive  Diwali Basket Wrapping DIY 
Voila!! Your basket is ready with goodies :-)

P.S. If you would like to learn or enquire about gift wrapping services, contact Vinita on vkundani[at]gmail[dot]com

P.P.S More Diwali Trend Alert posts here and links to some stunning Diwali decor ideas previously featured on the blog.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Diwali Trend Alert: Color blocking in jewelry

Wearing and buying jewelry plays an important role during Diwali. If you’re wondering what to buy and/or wear with your outfits this festive season, Jayna Lakhiani, founder of Miranya, tells us that color blocking in jewelry has sharpened this season - bright colors are screaming out loud - heaps of yellow, orange, fuchsia which will slowly change to pastels in 2013.

Check out this page for lots of super color blocking jewelry inspiration.

P.S. If you would like to pick up Indian outfits, jewelry, clutches for Diwali, check out Vibrance Festive Fiesta happening today at Emirates Towers. Lots of designers exhibiting, including Miranya. More details on their FB page here.

P.P.S One more Diwali Trend Alert post here. Looking for decor inspiration for the house this Diwali? Links to some stunning ideas previously featured on the blog.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Real Parties in Dubai: Circus Themed Grown-Up Birthday Party

In today’s post of Real Parties, I am thrilled to bring you a super fun Circus themed party that my dear friend, Geetu Ahuja organised to celebrate her birthday. I loved her theme implementation in the games, cake, decor, photo booth and drinks.

The highlight of the event, for me, was the photo booth. I have always loved this whole concept of photo booths for a long long time. They always bring so much to an event. And at Geetu’s party, the photo booth set-up and execution, by Imprint Design, was just fantastic. The props were so in tune with the theme. I’ll let the pictures do the talking :-)

Circus Themed Photo Booth Circus Themed Photo BoothCircus Themed Photo Booth

Circus Themed Cake Cake in theme

Circus Themed GamesGames in theme

Geetu’s always chosen fun themes to bring in her big day. Here’s what she has to say:‘There comes this time in a year, where for some reason I just want my friends and me to get our souls 'inside out' cos I truly want to celebrate the significance from growing a year in maturity to living another year of life with some 'crazy spice'. Maintaining the trend of my desi videsi themes in the past, I landed up with my latest recipe of "Geets da cirque" for this year’s celebrations.’

P.S. More ‘Real Parties’ posts here including Parisian, Airline, Bollywood and Baby Einstein themes.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Words I’m Loving – Of making choices & living with them

I saw this movie The Words recently, and I was deeply moved by these words:

We all make difficult choices in life. The hard thing is to live with them

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Diwali Trend Alert: Long, floor length kurtas

Diwali Dressing Indian

Come Diwali and I’m almost always lost as to what to buy in terms of outfits, simply because I don’t wear Indian very often. If you are like me, than I’ve made our lives a little easier with my Diwali Trend Alert posts where I will be speaking to designers and fashionistas to see what’s hot and happening to wear this festive season.

In today’s post,  Raina Chandnani, a gorgeous Mumbai based fashion designer, models and shares one of her latest designs, a long floor length mul fabric kalidar kurta, perfect for a Diwali pooja or lunch. It’s not just trendy but looks super comfortable too.

Have you bought your Diwali dresses yet? What do you have in mind to wear?

P.S. If would like to get in touch with Raina to design your outfits or see more of her work, you can reach her on

P.P.S Looking for decor inspiration for the house this Diwali? Links to some stunning ideas previously featured on the blog.

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