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Monday, July 30, 2012

Huge fireworks display marks London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony

The opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games culminates with a huge fireworks display over the Olympic park.

Its Time You Cheer, "Come on india" - London Olympics!

"Its Time You Cheer" is a song composed for YouTube by Shantanu Moitra and Swanand Kirkire asking Indians to Cheer for their Stars at London 2012 Olympic Games. Sing along and show your support by sharing with your friends and family.


Aap agar....saath hai.....
toh zindagi .....saath hai....!!

aap agar....saath hai.....
toh jeet bhi saath hain....!!!

ik jazbaa dil mein hai.....
ik sapnaa aankhon mein
meri manzil saamne khaddi....

badi mushkil raahein thi
par dil mein chaahein thi
lo faisle ki aa gayee ghadi....

aap agar....saath hai.....
toh zindagi saath hai!!

aap agar saath hai
toh jeet bhi saath hain....

dil mein ehsaas hai khaas hai....
humse ummeedein lagi

duniyaa se aaj hum to takrayenge
agar har dil apne saath ho........

har ummeed aapki
har armaan aapka
viswaason ko hum kandhe pe liye

duniyaa se ladenge
aage hi badhenge
himmat le ke hum to chal diye....

aap agar saaath hai
toh darr ki kyaa baat hai

aap agar saath hai
mushkilon pe maat hai

aap agar saath hai
zindagi saath hai

aap agar saath hai
jeet bhi saath hain....

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Exercises to Minimise Back Pain

The increasing pressure of work life leaves little room for personal grooming and exercise.
Working for long hours, on a cramped sedentary work space, taxes your spine, making most men prone to backaches. The following article will provide a list of simple exercises that will reduce backache in no time.

1. Wall Slides
This exercise will help strengthen your knees and legs. Stand straight with your back against the wall and your feet apart by 1 foot.
a. With your back still touching the wall, slide down and bend your knees as you go. While sliding down count to five till your knees are at a 45 degree angle. Take care not to strain your knees. If you feel any discomfort in your knees, stop immediately.
b. Remain in this position for at least five seconds.
c. While counting to five, slide up the wall and straighten your knees to the starting position.
d. Repeat the above steps five times more. This exercise should be done 3 times a day for a week to be able to provide some relief.

2. Leg Raises
This exercise concentrates on your leg, hip and calf muscles and will help take the weight off the posture, off the spine.
a. Spread a yoga mat on the floor and lie down flat on your stomach.
b. Lift one leg off the ground.
c. Hold it in this position for at least 10 seconds. You will feel your thighs, buttocks, calves and hip muscles tighten.
d. Exhale while you gradually set your foot down on the floor again. Rest for 5 seconds.
e. Repeat this process with the other leg.
f. Practice this exercise 5 more times and do it 3 times a day.

3. Supine Leg Raise

This helps in strengthening the spinal column and thigh muscles.
a. Spread a yoga mat on the floor and lie down with your back on the floor.
b. Lift one leg two feet off the ground.
c. Hold it in this position for at least 10 seconds.
d. Exhale while gradually setting the raised foot down on the floor. Rest for 5 seconds.
e. Repeat this process with the other leg.
f. Practice this exercise 5 more times and do it 3 times a day.

4. Semi Sit-ups:

This eases the tension in the spine by helping it stretch.
a. Lie flat on a yoga mat with your knees bent and your feet on the ground. Keep your arms underneath your head and your elbows parallel to the floor.
b. Only lift your head and shoulders off the floor and try to touch the knees with your nose.
c. Hold it for at least 10 seconds.
d. Exhale while gradually lying back on the floor to your starting position. Rest for 5 seconds.
e. Practice 5 more times and do it 3 times a day.

5. Standing Back Stretch
This exercise is said to relieve the pressure from the spine and reduce backaches significantly.
a. Stand straight with your feet apart by 1 foot.
b. Place the palm of your hand on your lower back.
c. Inhale deeply while you gradually bend back and keep your knees straight. Take care not to strain your back too much.
d. Hold this position for 5 seconds.
e. Exhale and slowly return to your upright position.
f. Practice 5 more times and do it 3 times a day.

6. Hip Rolls

This exercise concentrates on the hip muscles.
a. Stand straight with your feet apart and put your hands on your hips.
b. Slowly move your hips in a circular clockwise motion. Make sure that you only move your hips and not the whole body.
c. Do this for 10 counts.
d. Now move your hips in the anti-clockwise direction.
e. Continue with this movement for 10 counts.
f. Practice 5 times more and do it 3 times a day.

7. Knee Lunges:

This exercise will strengthen spine, knee and thigh muscles.
a. Stand straight with your left leg in front of your right.
b. Bend your knee forward gradually keeping your right leg straight and your left knee directly in front of your left foot.
c. Hold for 10 seconds.
d. Gradually move back to your starting position.
e. Repeat with your right leg.
f. Practice this routine 5 more times and do it 3 times a day.

8. Mid Back Stretch
This exercise will ease the hip muscles and do away with any strains whatsoever.
a. Stand straight with your feet apart and hands on your hips.
b. Gently twist to your left at the waist, going as far as permitted. Try to look over your shoulder and do not change the position of your feet.
c. Hold for 10 seconds.
d. Gradually twist back to your starting position. Rest for 5 seconds.
e. Repeat for the other side.
f. Practice 5 more times and do it 3 times a day.
By regularly performing these exercises, you will be able to keep your spine in excellent condition and backaches at bay.

Vazhachal - In the kingdom of the Rain God

You’ve not experienced the monsoon until you’ve been drenched in the Western Ghats. One morning in August we set off across the Tamil Nadu border and into Kerala’s Vazhachal forests. It rained. Oh my goodness, did it rain! Mist rose from forest floors to spiral up and mix with clouds where you could not even tell them apart. Rain drenched leaves shone verdure and drip-dropped everywhere. Ankle-deep puddles threw up a neat arc of spray as we drove through them. Frogs and tiny toads jumped out of our way and eager leeches sensed us and stood on tip-toe (not really, you know), looking to latch on. Writer and photographer ARATI RAO shares glimpses of life from a fragile rainforest ecosystem.

Vazhachal Reserved Forest unfurled in front of us – wet, evergreen, wonderful and, as beautiful things go, fragile. The windshield wipers were ineffective at times and the going was slow. Which was as it should be, for the forest is breathtaking. Here, in Vazhachal, is where ferns still live.

Banks rose from the sides of the road, covered in roots and ferns, fungi and moss. Rock-faces seemed to melt into rivulets as water seeped through and over them. Boughs and lianas were smothered in moss, and epiphytes were everywhere. Creepers hung from branches like curtains and every bend in the road had a frothy, white, gushing waterfall. It looked like a set from the movies. The bigger characters in this drama –Nilgiri Langurs, Malabar Giant Squirrels and birds – seemed to respectfully give way to the small, the immobile, and the green. The setting breathed and pulsed with life – from the smallest snails chomping on leaves to the fairy lantern fungi that defied my camera to catch its color.

And then there were the impatiens – little pink, fuchsia and white flowers that grow on wet rock. Whole beds, small clumps, and lone sentinels bending and twisting but holding their own under waterfalls. The sun had pushed its way through the thick blanket of grey and briefly spotlighted a moss here, a fern there. Tucking two cameras and one pair of binoculars under my new rain-jacket, I jumped out and took in a lungful of fresh, drizzly forest air.

It was the paradise I’d imagined and longed to walk through. Vazhachal is a primary forest, albeit logged, and the trees were old growth. Electric transmission lines scarred the landscape at regular intervals, but around it foliage determinedly continued on. Fabulous as the scene was, there was a sinister undertone. A four-lane highway was to replace this 20-foot road. That meant that the ferns and the first few rows of trees would be cleared. It rankled, for with increased traffic and disturbance comes the scourge of the invasive species – the lantana, parthenium and eupatorium. And with that, this diversity of ferns and flora would be crowded out.

Light was low and photography in that rain was a prayer. But for me, the quest for tack-sharp images respectfully retreated behind the grand drama of green that surrounded me. The dark of the rainforest in monsoon is what it is. Raindrops on every blade, every edge, every petal, every moss fruiting body, is life – as it unfolds. Hence, if blurry, grainy, and high-ISO images were to be a legacy of this trip, so be it.

Soaking wet by now, finding a dry corner of my t-shirt to wipe my lens clean was nothing more than a dream. My knees were muddy from kneeling to take eye-level shots. I’d found a couple of leeches on my neck, one on my face and one on my lip. I’d no idea what else was inside my clothes. I was faced with a choice. Wetness and leeches can make one miserable. But I had one glorious day in such a forest, and a few hours to simply soak it all up. And so I took all my leech-bloody-wetness thoughts and locked it up in a small compartment in my head. Then I threw the key away. Access denied to negative emotions, I chased snails and sloshed across a stream to see insanely huge fungi. Clambering up mud walls and slip sliding on leaf litter, I was laughing inwardly at the sheer joy of being there.

It was dark by now – the sun had given up the fight with the clouds and called it a day. I looked at my camera. Surely the lens would be kaput the next day. Fogged up at a minimum. And we’d probably see the highly endangered lion-tailed macaques up close, and I’d have nothing to photograph them with. Well, I thought to myself, there is a way out. I would just have to soak up that experience so deep that I’d remember it forever. Leaning back on the by-now-oh-so-wet Scorpio seat, I smiled a broad, satisfied smile

How Drinking Can be Good For You

Alcohol has often been addressed as the ‘Wet Devil’ and deemed dangerous for health. 
But little do people know that alcohol consumption can have some surprising health benefits as well. The following article will illustrate the benefits of drinking.


1. Recent research has proved that drinking red wine helps in sleeping properly. Red wine essentially helps in producing melatonin. It is an antioxidant that not only helps regulate the sleep cycle, but also prevents cancer and aging.
2. Resveratrol, an essential component in red wine, helps in building immunity against diseases and helps one live longer. Not only that, it also helps prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It is also known to reduce inflammation, lower LDL cholesterol and improve overall physical health.
3. A glass of red wine has enough resveratol and antioxidants to reduce the risk of heart ailments.
4. Red wine is known to reduce chances of lung cancer by 13%; prostate cancer by 50% and breast cancer in women by 12%.

5. The chances of catching a cold are reduced by 44% with the moderate daily consumption of red wine.


1. Beer aids in proper bone health with its high silicon contents. Studies have shown that daily consumption of beer helps develop good bone density.
2. Beer accounts for a 31% reduction in cardiovascular risks. Daily consumption helps reduce LDL cholesterol levels and keep the arteries clean.
3. A man drinking beer has 40% less chances of developing kidney stones than non-beer drinkers. It is presumed that the high water content in beer keeps the risk of kidney dehydration away and prevents stone formation.
4. The risk of developing diabetes with a moderate but regular consumption of beer is reduced by 25% mostly because beer increases insulin sensitivity and regulates blood sugar levels.


1. It acts as a sleep inducer and helps in relaxing the mind and reducing stress levels.
2. It is the most effective household disinfectant and was often administered to clean wounds. Its antiseptic properties remove toxins from the skin and help kill germs.
3.The alcohol content in vodka is effective enough to take latent heat off the body when externally administered during fevers.
4. It aids in proper heart health, reducing harmful cholesterol levels, and reducing hypertension and keeping cardiovascular troubles at bay.
5. Regular but moderate consumption calms the brain and reduces the risk of dementia, neural troubles and Alzheimer’s.
6. It is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent and has proven results in curing osteoporosis and arthritis.
Alcohol consumption does have its health benefits, but these only reflect when the consumption is moderate. Over-consumption and drinking with no holds barred is capable of causing more harm than good. So alcohol connoisseurs are advised to exercise caution.

When do relationships need an exit strategy?

My latest blog post is inspired by a status update that my friend put up; he says, "If you want to have a happy ending, you got to know when to end the story...." No matter how precious your relationship is, an exit strategy is imperative.

I am not a big fan of sharing relationship advice and quotations on Facebook but this one aptly explains my point, "At some point you will realize that you have done too much for someone, that the only next possible step to do is to stop. Leave them alone. Walk away. It's not like you're giving up, and it's not like you shouldn't try. It's just that you have to draw the line of determination from desperation. What is truly yours will eventually be yours, and what is not, no matter how hard you try, will never be."

Often I have heard friends complain about how badly they have been treated in relationships, how they always attract the wrong kind of people and how people just exploit their naiveté. The truth is that some of us allow others complete control of the relationship, of our emotions and consequently, our happiness.

I am not advocating that people end relationships at the first sign of trouble but after repeated attempts if things just don't seem to be working out, then there's honestly no point clinging to it. It's important to feel good about yourself and if a relationship seems to be sapping the happiness out of your life then it's time to reevaluate the dynamics.

Natalie Lue says in her article that it is important to regain control of a relationship that you have perceived as uncontrollable and create your own closure. The truth is no one likes to walk away from people you hold close to your heart but sometimes you try so hard not to lose someone that you end up losing yourself in the process. And that is when you need to step back, evaluate the gives and gets of your relationship and take the difficult step to detach yourself. It's time to shift the focus from the other person to the self and assess the ROI (Return on Investment). If you truly know that you have done enough to salvage the relationship, maybe it's time to move on and let things go.

Like my friend said a happy ending completely depends on whether we know when to end the story.

Disclaimer: You wouldn't necessarily apply the same logic to marriage that needs far more consideration before you start thinking of an exit strategy.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Human Brain Analysis - Man vs. Woman

Women - Multiple process
Womens brains designed to concentrate multiple task at a time.
Women can Watch a TV and Talk over phone and cook.
Men - Single Process
Mens brains designed to concentrate only one work at a time. Men can not watch TV and talk over the phone at the same time. they stop the TV while Talking. They can either watch TV or talk over the phone or cook.

Women can easily learn many languages. But can not find solutions to problems. Men can not easily learn languages, they can easily solve problems. That's why in average a 3 years old girl has three times higher vocabulary than a 3 yeard old boy.

Mens brains has a lot of space for handling the analytical process. They can analyze and find the solution for a process and design a map of a building easily. But If a complex map is viewed by women, they can not understand it. Women can not understand the details of a map easily, For them it is just a dump of lines on a paper.

While driving a car, mans analytical spaces are used in his brain. He can drive a car fastly. If he sees an object at long distance, immediately his brain classifies the object (bus or van or car) direction and speed of the object and he drives accordingly. Where woman take a long time to recognize the object direction/ speed. Mans single process mind stops the audio in the car (if any), then concentrates only on driving.

When men lie to women face to face, they get caught easily. Womans super natural brain observes facial expression 70%, body language 20% and words coming from the mouth 10%. Mens brain does not have this. Women easily lie to men face to face.
So guys, do not lie face to face. 

If a man have a lot of problems, his brain clearly classifies the problems and puts them in individual rooms in the brain and then finds the solution one by one. You can see many guys looking at the sky for a long time. If a woman has a lot of problems, her brain can not classify the problems. she wants some one to hear that. After telling everything to a person she goes happily to bed. She does not worry about the problems being solved or not.

Men want status, success, solutions, big process, etc... But Women want relationship, friends, family, etc...

If women are unhappy with their relations, they can not concentrate on their work. If men are unhappy with their work, they can not concentrate on the relations.

Women use indirect language in speech. But Men use direct language. 

Women talk a lot without thinking. Men act a lot without thinking.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How to Show Initiative at Work

  Most employees settle into their jobs in a few weeks and performing according to expectations.
They think this is enough to hold them in good stead when it comes to appraisals but the truth is that you are only rewarded if you step outside your comfort zone and show some initiative apart from your own work. Here’s how you can make yourself count with these tips on taking initiative at your workplace.

Recognise requirement

Each organisation has a skill set that you can exploit. Before offering your services, ensure that the requirement that is known in the top echelons and that your eventual offer will actually benefit the company in a quantifiable way. There is a difference between minimising paper work for your office and saving money for the company rather than using your smartphone for all your back-of-the-page calculations and telling your boss you saved pages!

Find opportunities

The most embarrassing part of any meeting is the awkward silence that creeps in when the boss asks if somebody wants to do something that nobody wants to do. Evaluate all the pros and cons in a micro-second and if it sounds even mildly important to your stock in the workplace, say you will take it up. At this stage, any experience will only help you in the years ahead. Once you have your priorities clear, you will find such opportunities round the corner. Take advantage of them.

Be action-oriented

Guess what the biggest movies of the last three years had in common? Action. From ‘Dabangg’ to ‘Bodyguard to ‘Rowdy Rathore’, action is what makes people sit up and take notice. If your initiative doesn’t involve action, it is unlikely to be rewarded. Ensure that you ask and get work that will make everyone know you’re working on it.

Manage expectations

Once you take up a role outside of your designated job profile, it is the easiest thing in the world for your manager to assume that you’ve taken charge of the role. It is important to clear whether your initiative is a short term arrangement or whether it requires a longer commitment. If unsure, check with your HR manager for advice. You will begin to feel frustrated if you do dual roles with one salary. Ensure that expectations are similar across all levels.

Avoid being over-eager

Do not try and take up every offer that comes your way. This will just make you irritating to your boss and nosy to your colleagues. Taking initiative without arousing suspicions about your motives is a skilled art. Everybody wants to be seen as reliable and dependable and taking extra opportunities is a sureshot way of doing that. However, you need to draw a line somewhere. Recognise your shortcomings and step away when you know you won’t be able to deliver.

How to Rebuild Your Confidence

Burnout is a very real part in today’s overworked office culture.
From personal problems to professional issues, we are always finding ways to keep ourselves perked up. There comes a time when you get to a place where you need to find inspiration to regain confidence. Here’s what to do to get back your mojo.

Face your fears

The first and most important step in the entire exercise is to confront the fear that first started sagging down your confidence levels. Unless you can identify and find the reasons that led you to lose confidence this will be pointless. The next step is to work around the problem by taking decisions that will benefit you. If you’ve lost motivation because you were overlooked for a promotion for the umpteenth time, consider leaving your job and stick to the decision. Fear will keep dragging you further down until you’re six feet from the edge.

Look at your passions

There is nothing more uplifting than doing what you always love to do but couldn’t pursue for various reasons. Work your schedule in such a way that you find time for your passion – be it learning a new language or playing the guitar or even sitting at home reading that great novel everyone talks about.

Dress sharp

When we lose confidence, the first thing we lose interest is in our appearance. From the way our faces puff up with disappointment to the disastrous fashion faux pas we would never otherwise have made otherwise, feeling low comes at a price. Arrest your slide as quickly as possible and regain your former suaveness. Dress correctly, sit properly and talk with the confidence you had not so long ago. If you act out your wish, you will see that your confidence will come back to you naturally.

Seek your support system

Meet and talk to your friends and family. Most people tend to go into a shell rather than let others see how weak they’ve become. Friends and family, however, will bring you back from the brink of despair by reminding you of the good times you were a part of and will lift your mood automatically.

Try to avoid negativity

Too often, negative energies from people around us push us to the wall. While it is difficult to stay away from people all the time, find the time and space where you know no such negativity exists. Make that place your personal heaven and use it as a sanctuary whenever you feel your confidence is going down. This can be that corner of the office that only you know of or even the pot in men’s loo. Privacy and peace of mind go hand in hand.
With all these tips, your confidence should be up and running in no time.

Decoding the Good and the Bad of Fast Food

  The changes in our lifestyle and the erratic working patterns have forced people to switch to easier and quicker food options.
Let's have a look at the good and bad of fast food:

1. Time Saving

As the name suggests, fast food is the food that can be cooked quickly and yet tastes delicious. People today, especially the youth resort to fast food, over healthier options to suit their work life. It saves a lot of time and energy and still fill up the stomach.

2. Tastier Option

Cooked to please the taste buds, fast food is exceptionally delicious. The variety of food served by quick service restaurants and smaller local joints leave people spoilt for choice.

3. Healthier Options

With the changing time, increased awareness and health consciousness amongst the youth, there are now healthier fast food options making their way in the taste palate of people. Healthy sandwiches, rolls and buns are now a part of the fast food clan.

4. Cheaper Option

Resorting to fast food is a much cheaper choice that one makes. This is one of the prime reasons for school, college and office going individuals opting for fast food.

5. Devoid of Nutrients

What is a known fact is that, fast food is far from being nutritious. The vitamins required to produce energy and increase the immunity of the body are absent in these foods.

6. Increased Fat Content

Fast Food is famous for its ample use of butter, cheese, oil and other fatty ingredients. With the increased consumption of burgers and pizzas obesity has become a grave issue seen amongst people today.

7. Addictive Option

Consuming fast food on a regular basis can prove to be addictive. This habit makes it difficult for people to shift to healthier and nutritious food that is good and recommended for maintaining good physical health.

8. Cause of diseases

When fast food is not consumed in appropriate quantities, the excess fat, salt and spice content in the food can lead to a number of diseases. Commonly noticed are diabetes, heart problems, obesity and other liver diseases.
Having listed down the good and bad of consuming fast food, it is evident that the negatives overpower the positives of eating fast food. Hence, it is important that we control our craving for fast food and consume it in reasonable quantity.

How to Survive a Heartbreak

  So you’ve just had your heart broken. Ouch! It hurts bad, real bad. It feels like you’ll never recover from that, ever, right?
 You don’t want to trust another woman in your life for as long as you live, right? You just want to shut yourself in your room and never come out. While these are normal emotions one goes through, here’s how you can survive a heartbreak:

Men don’t cry

That’s the silliest thing I have ever heard. Crying is very natural for men and women, the latter more so. If you’re sad you will cry. One of the best things you can do after a break up is to cry it out. There’s no shame in that. It’s rather harmful to keep your emotions bottled up. Let it out. You will feel good. Go wail into a pillow if you like.

Talk to someone

Talk about it to someone you trust, man or woman. It doesn’t matter. Women will be emotionally supportive and will not stop talking about it unless you do, while men will try their best to distract you and put your mind off it. So choose your shoulder accordingly. But talking will help. Once you get out those feelings out in the open, you will feel lighter.

Have fun

Just because you have had a breakup, doesn’t mean you have to turn into an introvert. Continue to make plans with your friends. Go to movies, clubs, parks, whatever it is that you were doing before. Try new cuisines, travel, just get out and do things that make you happy. And stop watching sad movies, and listening to sad songs. It will only make you feel crappier.

Write about it

Talking will help, but your friends might not have enough time to hear you out completely, or you might want to keep certain things from them. You can write about it instead. Pick a laptop or a diary and pour our heart out. No one will judge you here, or ridicule you. It’s just between you and the page. You will realise that writing is more therapeutic than anything else. Through writing, you might even discover newer things about yourself.

Get back into the game

You’ve mourned for weeks, months, a year, even. Enough. She has moved on, so should you. There is absolutely no point in holding on to her memories. She will be a part of your life, yes, but that doesn’t mean you stop living. Ask your friends to set you up. Or if your friends are no good, get out and start looking for her yourself. Join a salsa class, or a trekking club, or a drama group. Basically any community that attracts a good mix of men and women.

Read books or seek help from the internet

There have been tons of books written about the subject. Go to Crossword or Landmark and pick one of these books, if you like. I remember once seeing a book called, It’s called a breakup because it is broken. Even the internet is a great source for a broken heart. There will be millions of blogs, or forums where people will be readily available to help you out.
Whatever be the reason for the breakup, your fault or hers, forget about it and get a move on. Don’t put your life on hold. And give it some time. Time heals everything. You might not believe that right this instant, but in retrospect you will see that it was true.

10 Foods for Fabulous Abs

Yogurt is magic for the tum. Nutritionist Rania Batayneh recommends yogurt, “The probiotic bacteria in most yogurts help keep your digestive system healthy, which translates into a lower incidence of gas, bloating, and constipation, which can keep your tummy looking flat." Ideally go for the plain-flavoured yogurts, that don’t contain added sugars.

Red bell peppers: "This beautifully colored vegetable is bursting with antioxidants (especially vitamin C and beta-carotene) to help your body fight off infections," says Margaux J. Rathbun, a certified nutritional therapy practitioner and creator of nutrition website Authentic Self Wellness. "They are also stimulating for the digestive system and have been shown to be metabolism-boosters, helping you to lose unwanted pounds. They are perfect for dieters when eaten raw or prepared in a juice concoction."

Peppermint: "Peppermint works to reduce bloating and indigestion and soothe the GI tract all around," says Rachel Berman, registered dietitian and Director of Nutrition for Try mixing up some iced peppermint tea or add a few mint leaves to your water.

Leafy greens: "Not only are leafy greens a great way to add volume to your meals without the calories, but they are chock full of nutrients (vitamins A, C, K, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and fiber) and easy to incorporate into your day," says Mary Dinehart-Perry, a registered dietitian and clinical trials director for Zone Labs, Inc. She recommends swapping out iceberg for spinach in your salads, adding mustard greens or collards to your soups, or dishing up a side of sautéed kale to fill up, fight disease, and look fab in your bikini.

Switch to whole grain. The body shows a decreased insulin response to whole grain as compared to refined carbohydrate like rice and white bread. So replace those meals of white rice and milk bread with whole grains like lentils, brown rice, and whole wheat bread for a trimmer waistline.

Stock up on cruciferous veggies like broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, peppers, and yellow beans. They contain folate, beta-carotene, calcium, magnesium, and fiber, and are rich in vitamins A, C, and K.

Olive Oil: Mono-unsaturated fats like those found in olive oil, work to reduce belly fat and don’t increase calorie intake.

Apple cider vinegar: New research indicates that 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (ideally mixed with a glass of water), consumed daily over a period of 12 weeks, works to lower body weight and reduce belly fat. This is attributed to vinegar's acetic acid, which is believed to pump out proteins that break down fat.

Green tea contains certain chemicals called polyphenols and catechins that boost metabolism and help burn fat. Including 2-3 cups of green tea in your diet will help reduce that waistline, as well as provide a host of other health benefits.

Apples are one of the most popular negative calorie foods. This means that an apple burns more calories that it adds to the body, while being digested, making for a great, tasty snack that does nothing to add to body fat.

Eggs are a great source of protein and contain essential amino acids that the body needs to build everything from muscle fibres to brain chemicals. It is the perfect breakfast food, and ensures you feel less hungry during the day and reduces that urge to snack.

Almonds provide the body with minerals like magnesium, and regulate blood sugar levels. A stable blood sugar level is key to prevent cravings that can lead to overeating.

Salmon, tuna and mackerel, in addition to being a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, also improve metabolism and help burn fat faster by improving the body’s glucose-insulin response.

The 3 day tummy trimming diet plan

We women are putting our health at risk with our wobbly tummies. But no more! Follow this three day plan to slim your waist and get you healthy...

Us women have always battled the old waistline, but new findings show we're all creeping over the healthy mark and need to get those tummies in check for the good of our health.

The average waist size for women in the UK is 4.9cm larger than recommended as healthy, the new research has found.

The survey of 54,000 women carried out by Britain’s largest healthcare charity Nuffield Health shows that the vast majority of women assessed had a waist size in the ‘high health risk’ category.

Not only does this not look great in your bikini, but carrying weight around your middle significantly increases the risk of breast cancer, infertility, not to mention heart and liver disease and type 2 diabetes. Cripes!

So, what’s the key to a trimmer tummy?

Nutritional Therapist, Alison Stork from Nuffield Health recommends a diet that delivers a full range of important vitamins and minerals, which will help keep you full and regulate fat storage.

Try Alison’s three day tummy trimming plan to kick start that waist weight loss:

Day 1

Porridge with a tablespoon of crushed, mixed seeds (pumpkin, linseed, sunflower)
Vegetable and Lentil Soup
Grilled Salmon with salad and new potatoes
Plain yoghurt with fresh fruit

Day 2
Boiled Egg with a slice of wholemeal toast
Jacket sweet potato with hummus and mixed salad
Stir fry chicken & vegetables with brown rice
Fresh Fruit and a small handful of unroasted, unsalted nuts

Day 3
Fresh fruit with plain yoghurt and a dessertspoon of mixed nuts & Seeds
Sardines on toasted rye or wholegrain bread with grilled tomato and a sprinkle of herbs & green salad
Lentil Dahl with mixed steamed vegetables
Oatcake with cottage cheese

We're on it! Slimmer tummies here we come…

8 Super nutrients for weight-loss

1. Monounsaturated fats: Replacing carbohydrates in your diet with monounsaturated fats will help you slim down by shuttling fat away from your midsection (See my Ask the Diet Doctor column on this topic for a more in-depth explanation).

Where to get it: Avocados, Macadamia nuts, and olive oil are great sources of monounsaturated fats. They also come packaged with great nutrients such as antioxidants (in olive oil), fiber (in avocado), and B-vitamins (in macadamia nuts).

2. EGCG: EGCG or Epigallocatechin gallate is an antioxidant found in green tea (and put in most weight-loss supplements available today). EGCG can increase thermogenesis or heat production through extra calorie burning and the use of stored fat as energy. Some research also shows that EGCG can stop the growth of new fat cells.

Where to get it: The greatest weight loss effects of EGCG are seen when combined with caffeine, as it naturally occurs in green tea.

3. Raspberry ketones: Raspberry ketones are an antioxidant found in raspberries that preliminary research shows have some interesting fat loss effects. Raspberry ketones can increase the production of the muscle-energizing, fat-burning hormone adiponectin as well as directly increasing the burning of stored fat.

Where to get it: You can't come close to getting enough raspberry ketones via eating raspberries so to reap these benefits you'll need to take a concentrated raspberry ketone supplement (they are inexpensive and available at more health food stores). Keep an eye out for more about raspberry ketones and weight loss as new research gets published.

4. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): Docosahexaenoic acid or DHA is one of the two omega-3 fats found in oily fish like salmon. DHA can stop growth of young fat cells and actually causes them to die, says research published in the Journal of Nutrition.

Where to get it: To get more DHA in your diet, you can eat more oily fish or just take a fish oil supplement. If you are a vegetarian, pick up an algae-based DHA supplement to reap the same benefits.

5. Acetic acid: Vinegar, a dilute form of acetic acid, has potent glucose-lowering effects. One study in Italy found that when participants added just more than1 tablespoon of vinegar to their meal (as salad dressing) they experienced a 30 percent decrease in their post-meal blood sugar levels. Controlling blood sugar remains an essential component to weight loss and maintaining a lean body.

Where to get it: Adding vinegar to salads should be standard protocol, but if you can manage to find chocolate balsamic vinegar, it makes an excellent addition to a protein-packed chocolate smoothie.

6. Protein: Protein from lean sources like beef, poultry, fish, dairy, or soy are weight loss rock stars. The amino acids that make up protein cause your body to release the fat-burning and energy-stabilizing hormone glucagon. The process of digesting protein also stimulates your body to release the satiety hormone CCK. This one-two punch combined with the fact that it takes your body more energy to digest and breakdown protein compared to carbohydrates or fat makes it a must-have at every meal throughout your day.

Where to get it: The possibilities are endless, but lean proteins like Greek yogurt , cottage cheese, and organic grilled chicken strips are especially convenient.

7. Caffeine: Caffeine is one of the most potent weight loss compounds available to you each and every day. Caffeine blocks the breakdown of a compound call camp, which is responsible for mobilizing stored fats so they can be burned as energy.

Where to get it: If you are looking for a bigger fat-burning boost, then make sure to choose black tea over green tea or light roast coffee over dark roast for a larger dose of caffeine.

8. Fiber: Fiber is often touted to be a great nutrient for weight loss because it slows down digestion, allowing for sustained energy and stable blood sugar. However fiber can also optimize hormones released during digestion that are responsible for feelings of hunger and satiety.

Where to get it: Try to get your fiber in its raw form instead of from foods that have been overly processed. The processing of fiber can change its chemical make-up, which can decrease its effectiveness at promoting satiety or lowering cholesterol. Next time you have the choice between oatmeal and cereal made from baked oat crisps, opt for regular oatmeal.

The Lazy Girl Workout

Between work deadlines, relaxing days at the beach and weekend barbeques, it's no wonder squeezing in a morning workout isn't high on your to-do list. Luckily, staying in bikini-ready shape doesn't necessarily mean sacrificing your beauty sleep to hit the gym at the crack of dawn.

Instead of setting your alarm clock to an ungodly hour, try this lazy girl's workout, the perfect antidote for those early mornings when you just can't seem to wake up in time to hit the gym. You can do all of the moves below in bed or on your bedroom floor (without even changing out of your pj's)!

"It is absolutely possible to get a great workout without leaving your bedroom," says Jenn Burke, Fitness Manager at Crunch on 59th St. in NYC. "Some of the most effective exercises involve using just your body weight."

So, rather than wait in line for the treadmill (again!), give these 3 moves a whirl. "The hardest part is the first move," says Burke. "If you can just talk yourself into doing the first exercise, the rest seem to come much easier. You should start to almost get addicted to it!"

Incorporate this routine into your regular workout 3 to 4 times a week to see results in your core, butt and back.

Lie on your stomach with your arms reaching alongside your body, palms facing down. Draw your belly button in, squeeze your butt muscles and pinch your shoulder blades together. Lift your chest and hands off the floor, keeping your arms straight. Hold for 10 seconds. Lower and repeat 10 to 15 times.

Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat and shoulder-width apart. Draw your belly button in and squeeze your butt muscles. Lift your pelvis off the floor until your knees, hips and shoulders are in line, pushing through your heels. Hold for 10 seconds and lower your pelvis to the floor. Repeat 10 to 15 times.

Lie on your stomach with your feet together and forearms on the ground, elbows below your shoulders. Draw your belly button in and squeeze your butt muscles. Lift your body off the floor and form a straight line from head to toe. Hold for 10 seconds. Lower your body and repeat 10 to 15 times.

Is your man marriage material?

It's been a year now and I have to say, being married is a beautiful life experience. I wondered what made me fall in love with this phase of life, and I could think of nothing but the man with whom I share my life.

Sure, you and your partner connect well and are totally in love! You know his deepest secrets and you've let him know yours as well. But is that it? I've always wondered if the man a woman dates is the one she will marry as well. And at last I grew to accept the fact that not all men are "marriage material".

Trust me; a great boyfriend is not someone who will also make for a great hubby. His love for games, costly gifts and romantic poems, might not automatically end in a 'happily married' note. So watch out! The sooner you find this out, the better, because it will really prevent a lot of confusion and heartache later.

Just as I was writing this piece, my best friend called me to share her relationship woes. She has been in a relationship for 3 long years and is now wondering if she still has it for him. At first I was furious at her for letting such a thought creep in, but I did understand that time does not or maybe cannot bind people.

So, how do you find out if HE'S marriage material or not? Well, the signs are very clear to read, if you are just willing to see the truth and nothing but the truth, even if it is not always what you want.

Here are few tips that will let you know your man inside out:

1.    Start seeing all the aspects of your relationship. It's good to be an optimist, but it's practical to analyze all aspects. So look outside the "wonderful moments "you've shared with him.
2.    Secondly, set your goals. If you are the type of person who would like to settle down and get married when the time is right, then you are naturally going to want someone who will have the same dreams and goals as you.
3.    When you have these clear in your mind, learn to accept facts and stop assuming you must marry him just because you've known him for X number of years or months. Like I said, time CANNOT bind two people.
4.    Talk to your partner about this, once your relationship reaches a comfortable point to discuss marriage and commitment.

While there are men who might not be the "perfect hubby" types, there are others who love their lady to bits, but simply hate or don't believe in the concept of marriage. The kind of men I'm pointing out here are the ones who brush aside the topic of marriage, hunt for excuses on why he cannot marry RIGHT away or keeps beating around the bush.

If any of these apply to your relationship, then I suggest you have a chat with your guy and know what's in his mind, even before you take the relation to the next level.  Lastly, do not rob yourself of true happiness by telling yourself that he will eventually come around or that you can change him, because this usually never works and you will only end up waiting. So, move on girl!