Stay at home, come out (digitally) stronger !

I know how you feel. Overwhelmed, for the lack of a stronger word.

There is a different kind of threat out there. One which can only be neutralized with our absence. Hence the lockdown.

Suddenly the stress from managing your daily tasks, making deadlines, fulfilling commitments has been eased.

If you’re like me, your mind is probably still processing the turn of events

Suddenly, we are locked up in our homes, without much work. Fortunately, internet is still working. (thanks to the telecom heroes)

You could binge watch the series that you couldn’t find time for,

OR

You could take a step back, relax, enjoy your family’s company,

and take a look at your life goals. Where are you going?

You are here because you’re not like most people out there. You fall in the second category. You can see that the future (hell, even the present) is digital. You can see something that others can’t, that the world is changing.

  • Even in this situation, internet businesses selling digital products and services are thriving.
  • Digital marketing is no longer a ‘nice to have’ for businesses.
  • It is the single fastest growing source of recall value, branding, publicity and everything else that directly or indirectly brings sales.
  • Digital media (Mobile, social media, email etc.) is where the customer is at. Now more than ever before. All. The. Time.
  • As a business, if you’re not with your customers, you’re leaving money on the table.
  • Business across the globe understand this, and are pouring cash to improve their digital footprint.
  • But what they desperately need are experts;
  • People who specialize in specific parts of the Digital Marketing value chain. They need skilled human resources because this is something they can’t automate.

You are probably a corporate executive who always wanted to make that switch to Digital Marketing;

Or a business-owner who was looking to reach out to more of their potential customers through digital media;

But none of you ever had the time. Well, you do now.

Whether you want to work from home as a freelancer, or for the world’s largest digital marketing company,

the better you learn, the more you will earn. Because like it or not, it all boils down to the hard numbers.

Even if you don’t have to be an expert at each and every one of these, you need to have some knowledge about each to even figure out which of these would be your field.

You need to learn:

  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Marketing analytics
  • Sales Copywriting
  • Content marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization

If this sounds like too much, I’m merely scratching the surface here.

And it’s not like Digital Marketing was a single point textbook topic that was static.

It is as dynamic as the market itself, adding innovative new components, dropping obsolete ones; exactly like the market, that drops players which don’t adapt.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to scare you or put you off, rather only trying to paint a real picture here.

And it’s not just about learning, but learning what’s relevant today, learrning what works.

Think about this for a moment. If you had to choose, would you like to:

  1. get a chance to learn from someone who has been doing this for the last 12 years?
    OR
  2. learn everything you need to know in digital marketing, packaged under one single comprehensive course, that you can get access to for a lifetime, AND get free upgrades for future too?
    OR
  3. learn how to use all the components of digital marketing in unison, optimizing each of them to your advantage?
    OR
  4. have all of the above?

I present to you, the Digital Marketing Mastery Bundle.

Created by one of the biggest names in the Digital Marketing space, Deepak Kanakaraju aka Digital Deepak, someone who has devised his very own Integrated Digital Marketing framework.

Trust me, this is easily one of the most comprehensive programs out there.

But don’t take my word for it. Do your research, it is worth your time.

Let’s dig a little deeper to see what awesome skills you will be mastering in this program

1. SEO Mastery

8 hours of on demand videos, individually priced at ₹1999

  • Mastering Google search console to improve SEO tactics
  • On page optimization and off page optimization
  • Building high-quality backlinks with guest posting
  • SEO analysis tools: Moz tools and SEMRush
  • Using Ahrefs to get new content ideas
  • Branding and SEO
  • Performing Local SEO and use Google My Business
  • Scaling search traffic with long tail keywords [this is the future!]
  • SEO auditing: How to build backlinks
  • Finding quality blogs for building backlinks
  • Content writing for SEO
  • And much more…

This is an evolving course which means we are regularly updating it with new lessons to keep you updated.

2. Adwords Mastery

3 hours of on demand videos, individually priced at ₹1999

  • Setting up your first AdWords campaign
  • Using landing pages and conversion tracking
  • Keyword research; the different Adword keyword types and how to use them
  • Using location targeting, ad scheduling, and device targeting
  • The various ad extensions – their advantages and uses
  • Effectively using the search term report and negative keywords
  • And much more…

We’ve also added 2 new case studies that show you how we set up search ads for a real estate promotion and a campaign review for a real estate client.

More videos will be added highlighting the recent changes introduced by Adwords.

3. Facebook Ads Mastery

3 hours of on demand videos, individually priced at ₹2999

  • Various types of Facebook audiences
  • Setting up a facebook pixel
  • Setting up custom conversions on Facebook
  • A complete tour of Ads manager and power editor
  • Using Facebook ads to generate leads
  • Running events and event response ads
  • And much more…

More videos highlighting the changes in Facebook Ads and case studies covering the campaign setups will be updated soon

4. Email Marketing Mastery

3 hours of on demand videos, individually priced at ₹3999

  • Building an email list
  • Collecting leads via landing pages
  • Integrating leads to any email tool
  • Tracking subscriber activity in your CRM
  • Integrating payment gateways with email tool
  • Creating Facebook Ads for lead generation
  • Creating email workflows with decision trees
  • Sending emails using Amazon SES
  • And much more…

We’ve recently added two new videos walking you through how we are using email workflows for a SaaS product [OptinChat] and using behavior-based sales automation. More videos will be added in the future

5. Social Media Mastery

8 hours of on demand videos, individually priced at ₹2999

  • How to provide customer service on social media
  • Facebook marketing best practices – do’s and don’ts
  • Choosing the right social media platform for your business
  • Social media competitor analysis
  • Grow and maintain a facebook group
  • Measure 10 vital social media metrics
  • 9 must have social media tools
  • And much more…

A lot more videos will be added in the future including case studies and walkthroughs.

6. Affiliate Marketing Mastery

12 hours of on demand videos, individually priced at ₹1999

This course is different from the rest of the bunch and is focused on helping you to make passive income using the digital marketing skills you’ve acquired

  • Setting your first niche website – walkthroughs, checklists, and tutorials
  • How to get approved by any affiliate network
  • How to find profitable affiliate products – digital and physical
  • The rapid-fire content creation strategies
  • Affiliate marketing tools to become super affiliates
  • How to build high converting squeeze pages and capture email ids
  • Powerful email marketing strategies to double your commissions
  • How to promote affiliate products using Adwords
  • And more…

You know what?

  • You can also follow the 10K per month challenge which outlines how to make 10K per month through affiliate marketing
  • When you complete the bundle, you’ll be ready to meet the brand-new world of demand and opportunity

All of these add up to a total of ₹ 16000.

But for a limited number of action takers, we want to offer it at a special price.

So you need not pay ₹ 16,000

Neither ₹ 12,000

Heck, not even ₹ 7,000

For a limited time, you can get a lifetime access this course for a one time fee of ₹ 4999/- only.

Yes, you read it right. The whole bundle costs less than a year’s Basic subscription of Netflix.

We believe money should never become an entry barrier to your dreams and your freedom.

But this offer remains limited to a limited number of people who decide to take action on their goals.

You won’t get to buy this bundle at this insane price ever again.

Reaching your goals depends on your ability to take decisions and act on them

You may still be undecided on this. And frankly, I totally understand.

Let me help you. Why should you invest your time and money in this?

  • What you’re looking at here is not just an online course, it is an opportunity.
  • An opportunity to foray into a billion dollar industry that is growing everyday.
  • An opportunity to learn a full stack of skills that are and will continue to be in high demand for the foreseeable future.
  • An opportunity to learn by getting your hands dirty and learn practically.
  • An opportunity to finally monetize your creative side.
  • An opportunity to set the ball rolling on your dream of financial freedom
  • An opportunity to scale your business like never before.
  • An opportunity to sell to the world.

Let us stack things up a little. You will get:

  • 6 courses worth ₹ 16000 in one comprehensive bundle
  • 35+ hours of value-added content
  • Lifetime access
  • New videos added with the latest changes
  • Access to the private forum

All of them for just ₹4999

I feel that with the right education, everyone can reach their full potential.

Material success is merely a by-product that is inevitable.

I desire that this knowledge should reach the maximum number of people, especially during the Corona virus crisis that we are enduring.

That is why I am offering this program at such a low price.

Although

It is completely upto you to make the most of this offer.

It is your decision to take action.

Grab the program at this unbelievable price

And make the most of this 21 day lockdown.

For these 3 weeks, seize the time that was once owned by your boss or your client.

Rise from the ashes like a phoenix. Come out stronger than your circumstances.

OR

Binge watch some web-series, movies

Once this is over, go back to your job or business, nothing having changed

And regret having not optimally utilized the time.

Even if you decide not to buy this program, it’s ok. I earnestly request you to not waste this precious time. Trust me, regret is very painful.

What are you gonna do?

Wishing you the best of health,
Anirudh.

Note: This offer is for a limited number of people, for a limited period of time. It is not going to come back.

Data Scientist by day, Digital Marketing Intern by night!

Network, Business, Growth, Building
The digital ecosystem

I always kept asking myself, “How can I:
– Do something that doesn’t pay me by the number of hours I put in, but by the quality of work I do?
– Work on something that doesn’t require my presence at a specific location, but only my best efforts?
– Create a business where growth is non-linear and virtually unlimited?”

While searching for an answer to the questions above, I stumbled upon an article about the amazing potential of the digital ecosystem, and I was hooked.

My name is Anirudh, and I am a data scientist by profession.

In the last 1 year, I learnt how to run facebook ads, start a blog, start a small ecom store, all from free (and some paid) content online. To say that it was overwhelming would be an understatement.

My sources of learning were all over the place, with no clear plan of action. No prizes for guessing, the learning did not translate to earning.

It finally occurred to me. If I had to make some serious earning, I absolutely had to do some sincere learning; and from someone who had seen it all, done it all. (Kind of late bloomer, wasn’t I? But better late than never)

Digital Marketing Internship by Deepak Kanakaraju

I came to know about a Digital Marketing internship program by Deepak Kanakaraju aka Digital Deepak. I was skeptical, not the least of my doubts being the efficacy of the program.

So, even after registering for the webinar, I was not so sure if I would still be sincere with this course.

Then, as Deepak walked us through the program, it became increasingly clear that this is not a course. It indeed is an internship.

Real money payouts for each completed assignment. What? In fact, apart from being an innovative idea, it only goes to show how invested Deepak is, in each of his interns’ success. 

‘Paisa vasool’, like quite literally.

So after some careful thinking, I decided to wear this new hat of a Digital Marketing intern, everyday after I return from work.

In this article I will write about the concepts I could assimilate in the first session of this program. (while trying my best to keep aside whatever I already knew)

The Golden Triangle

  • How does one learn effectively? There are 3 parts to it. Learn, Do, Teach. Each one essentially building on top of the other.
The learning triangle
  • Learning by assimilating knowledge, and then applying the knowledge is still only two-thirds of the job done; one must cement the knowledge by actually teaching it to someone. 

In the words of Einstein, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

Economics

  • Economics touches every aspect of business, and it could actually help to study a little bit of it.
  • The median age of India (its citizens) is about 27 years, projected to go up to only about 38 years by 2050.
Source: Statista.com
  • This means most Indians are (and will be for the next 30 years) around the age of starting a family, (which includes having kids as well) which means India has consumers at the peak of spending and consumption.
  • The economy will continue to expand, and so will the opportunities. Why do you think multinational corporations are competing with each other as all of their peers clamor to enter India? We are the next big market; for everyone. 
  • This should be reason enough to be betting big on India. This billion strong country could very well be where the next 1000 billionaires come from.

Start with a goal

  • Whatever your reason to start, always tie it to a goal, for it will motivate you to aim for something tangible and realistic.
  • Break it down into smaller chunks and you shall see it is indeed achievable, one chunk at a time. For example, to make ₹ 1 crore, you only need to find:
    – 1,000 customers who will pay you ₹ 10,000 each
    – 2,000 customers who will pay you ₹ 5,000 rupees each
    – 10,000 customers who will pay you ₹ 1,000 rupees each
    – 20,000 customers who will pay you ₹ 500 rupees each
  • It gets real simple when you break it down.

Marketing doesn’t change much, it only adapts to the medium

  • Digital platforms are just a medium of marketing, which hardly ever changes the core concepts.
  • At this juncture, I would like to mention the book ‘Scientific Advertising’ by Claude Hopkins, which though written in the 1920s, is very much relevant today.
  • All digital marketing strategies are mostly adaptations from core concepts, tailored to the digital media of today.

Hence Deepak says, “Become a marketer, before trying to become a digital marketer.”

Recession

  • Recession is a process in the evolution of the marketplace. It is what thins the herd.
  • No matter big or small, the strong survive, and the weak ones perish. ‘Maximize value while keeping costs low’. Recession or no recession, people will gladly pay for value.

Personal brand

  • Social media has enabled a direct connection between people, in a way that has never happened before. Celebrities, entrepreneurs, leaders all can now connect with millions of people with virtually no barriers.
  • Truth is, people identify more with other people rather than a logo.
  • Branding therefore finds way more relevance today for personalities than companies.

In Deepak’s words, “The best-known will almost always win against the best.”

The most important skill

  • Communication is of utmost importance when it comes to getting the right message across to your audience. This is the single skill that, if applied well, can set you apart from your peers.
  • English still happens to be the most widely understood language and therefore the preferred one for communication by marketers worldwide.
  • Television Sitcoms, well written books, standup comedy shows are few of the numerous ways one could work on improving their understanding of spoken (including slang) and written English.

Choose your niche

  • Your niche is your playground, this is the field (no pun intended) where you operate. 
  • There are 3 niches at the broad level, health, money, relationships. All other niches will usually be the sub-niches of one of these.
  • Drill down while narrowing the niche to your interest and expertise. For example, ‘Weight Loss’ is not a narrow enough niche, while ‘Post-pregnancy Weight Loss’ definitely is.

When you narrow down your niche, you not only reduce the competition, you improve your odds of finding like-minded people that are motivated to take action. That’s how you can build your tribe!

Bringing it all together : Integrated Digital Marketing

None of the components of Digital marketing work well in isolation. The more tightly coupled every gear is, the more efficient the whole machine works. Essentially this is an Integrated approach to Digital Marketing

https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/800/1*qDZuamgHdyHKLtPsFULRlQ.png
Integration brings synergy

It is no coincidence that hard content lies at the center of the whole framework that nicely stitches everything together.

Strive to become the best

  • Very few people remembers Indira Gandhi as the 3rd Prime Minister of India, but all of us do remember her as the 1st woman PM of India.
  • In order to become successful, one should always strive to become the number one (not essentially in chronology) in their niche. And how does one become the best? Well, by creating engaging content and delivering awesome value.

Abundance mindset

  • I deliberately put this concept in the end, lest it be lost somewhere in the middle. Abundance mindset is what further aids your growth.
  • India being an ever-expanding market has no dearth of opportunities. There is enough wealth to be created for everybody; if only one looks in the right places.

So that’s it guys. That was my 2 cents on the first session of the Digital Marketing Internship program by Digital Deepak

You are how you eat

It is no secret how undernourishment can stunt, and good nutrition can elevate the physical and mental growth of a child. Hence, it is said “You are what you eat.” In this article, however, we will explore “You are how you eat.”

So the stomach, yes that little bag in your abdominal cavity (responsible for digestion) is what gets all nutrition from the plate to each and every part of your body. So that is where most of your health begins, that is where most of your illnesses begin too.

Well, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must be well aware that chronic constipation, acidity and digestive problems have become eerily common these days.

Yet somehow people just pop a pill, and don’t take them seriously; when in fact, these are the problems that, once they become chronic, make your body susceptible to bigger diseases, such as high blood pressure, CHD (Coronary Heart Disease), diabetes and in some cases, even cancer.

So, I give my body the best nutrition possible, what else do I do?

Irrespective of what level of physical health you are at, these 6 little tips can work wonders for your body:

  1. Chew your food, atleast 35-40 times. In an ideal scenario, you are supposed to complete 40% of your digestion in the mouth itself. So by the time it reaches the stomach, it ready to be digested optimally. Mix your saliva with your food to such an extent that you are able to swallow it like a smoothie. I know, you might say, “But who has the time?” I believe that a little time everyday, spent for your health will not only improve your productivity, it will save you weeks in sick leaves.
  2. Drink water, 40 minutes before, and at least 60-90 minutes after any meal. I cannot stress this enough. I have been practicing this for the last 6 years, and believe me I haven’t been to the doctor for digestion issues ever since. If you must, it is best to have some buttermilk instead of water; it will aid your digestion. So please, no water with meals or immediately before or after. Also, when you do have water, drink it sip by sip, like animals. You saliva mixes properly with the water and reaches your stomach which is a must for your digestive health.
  3. Have fruits only on an empty stomach, preferably in the morning. Right after you wake up in the morning, the best breakfast (or maybe pre-breakfast) you can have is a bowl of fruits. They provide your body with the necessary glucose and essential minerals to kick start your day. If you wish to eat something after, make sure you have a gap of at least an hour after having fruits.
  4. Make sure that about 40% of your diet is raw, water rich fruits and vegetables. Your body is 70% water, that should be reason enough to feed it wholesome and water rich food. Not only will your stomach thank you (because now it doesn’t have to work too hard for digestion)your body will get lots of bio-available nutrients to function optimally. Moreover, raw food is alkaline, and it will help keep your blood pH in check.
  5. Do not mix fruits / vegetables with any other food. Uncooked fruits and vegetables are the fastest digesting foods in nature. Mixing them with other food items (such as milk, yogurt) messes up the digestion as these 2 different foods have different digestion times.
  6. Limit your consumption of processed and fragmented food. Why do olive trees give olives, not olive oil? Or we have tomato plants, but not ketchup trees? Because that is not how nature intended our food to be. Try to eat food exactly the way it is found in nature; eat whole wheat instead of refined wheat flour, coconut instead of coconut oil and potatoes instead of potato chips. If it is coming out of a sealed packet, it is processed and you shouldn’t eat it. Consider this, if the packet food doesn’t spoil for years, that means even bacteria don’t want to eat it. Why do you?
  7. Be punctual with your meal, just like you are with your work. No matter what happens, eat at the same time everyday. It will reduce the chances of acidity, heartburn or bloating and even overeating.

So there it is. If you watch on how you feed yourself, you will most certainly keep most diseases at bay. Have you tried or experienced any of these things? If yes, I’ll be happy to know your views too. Please comment below. Cheers!

Addicted to post-meal sweets? Try these healthy alternatives

If you have a sweet tooth, it must be almost impossible for you to resist the post-meal sweets craving. Well you know you are not alone.

But now reality has just hit you like a brick, because your old clothes suddenly don’t fit you anymore. Your little sweet indulgences are starting to show on your waistline.

Even if you are one of the lucky few who, to the envy of all, are blessed with a lightning fast metabolism, and manage to stay in shape regardless of what or how much you eat, deep down you know that sugar (or HFCS – High Fructose Corn Sugar) is bad for you.

Having sweets / chocolates especially after a meal, when the body has already received a good amount of carbs, proteins and fats is particularly not advisable, because the sugar (fragmented and devoid of nutrition) will cause your insulin levels to spike.

The problem with too much insulin in the blood is that it inhibits the fat burning process and rather makes the body absorb some of the fatty acids and glucose in the blood, turning them into body fat.

The good news is, there are still some healthy alternatives you can use to satisfy that sweet tooth without really piling on those extra kilos because of sugar. Let us take a look at how you can replace your post-meal sweets:

alternatives to sugarBerries

The berries available at your grocery can not only satisfy your craving, but also give you lots of antioxidants. Berries are also filled with vitamin C and flavonoids, which are associated with a reduced risk of cancer, asthma and stroke.

Dark chocolatealternatives to sugar

Now, this can be a tricky one. Dark chocolate is known to be good for the heart, while taking care of your sweet craving.  So having a small piece or two is totally fine, as dark chocolate contains much less sugar, if any. But it is sugar nonetheless, and having half a bar of dark chocolate will do more harm than good.

alternatives to sugarDates

This is one guilt free sweet that will totally give you that sweet taste, along with amino acids, fiber and minerals such as potassium and magnesium. So the next time you crave for that sweet kick, don’t hesitate to chew on a couple of dates. Who said taste and health can’t go hand in hand?

alternatives to sugar

Jaggery

Though also used as a sweetening agent, organic jaggery is considered much better than refined sugar or HFCS as craisertain minerals and plant phytochemicals are preserved in it.

It also contains iron which improves haemoglobin. Moreover, it makes a lot more sense to have jaggery after meals when you consider that it activates digestive enzymes in our body thereby aiding digestion and preventing constipation or acid reflux.

So there it is; Some healthy, guilt-free (or at least low guilt) post-meal sweets. These sweeties (pun intended) are perfect alternatives to sugar, and also take care of your health. Cheers!

P.S. Be sure to check out our article on the healthiest species of raisins, the Manuka raisins.

6 reasons you should start having Desi cow ghee today

The Vedas regard ghee as ‘the first and most essential of all foods’. Ghee (esp. made from Indian cow A2 milk) has traditionally been an inseparable part of every Indian ritual. Indians have been using Desi ghee for cooking way before cooking oils even existed.

This golden color liquid that is unmistakable from its characteristic aroma, has more benefits than one might think.

It is only now, when modern science has facilitated numerous clinical studies, that Western medicine has finally come to realize the super medicinal properties of this common Indian food. So Let’s dive right in!

Home made Desi ghee:

Most Indian households traditionally follow a rather long process to make ghee from milk.

  • Collecting cream (malai in Hindi) by separating it from the milk
  • making it into a creamy curd,
  • churning the curd + water in a wooden centrifuge (or a mixer) to separate butter and buttermilk,
  • heating the butter till all the water has evaporated and we’re left with ghee.

An important point to note is that most benefits only come from this home made ghee. Factory made ghee is not extracted through the same process and hence doesn’t have the same properties.

cow ghee benefits

Digestion and bowel movement

It is said that most diseases originate from the stomach. So they can be avoided if your digestion is in top shape.

Desi ghee is the most easily digestible of all fats that are used for cooking. Apart from aiding excretion of toxins, it also prevents constipation as it makes stools softer.

Add half a teaspoon of Desi cow ghee to a glass of warm milk and have it before you go to bed, and it will not just take care of your digestion, it will also make you sleep better.

Good for the heart

Indian cow ghee helps improve the HDL (High Density Lipoprotein), most commonly known as good cholesterol as it contains Mono-Unsaturated Fatty Acids, or MUFA which also helps reduce LDL or the bad cholesterol in your blood.

So go ahead and replace a spoon of oil with a spoon of Desi cow ghee in your daily fat intake and see the benefits yourself. (provided your daily fat intake is within prescribed limits)

People with chronic cardiac issues however, should avoid being too liberal with any type of fat.

Cow ghee helps fight cancer

An article in the Daily Mail speaks about a study conducted by the National Dairy Research Institute, where scientists found that ghee improves the availability of enzymes that help detoxify the body of cancer causing substances.

This could be attributed to the presence of CLA (Conjugated Linolenic Acid) present in ghee known to possess beneficial properties.

Slows down ageing

Ghee contains rich quantities of carotenoids and vitamin A that fight free radicals which cause cell damage.

Ghee has a high smoke point, which means it does not break down and release free radicals when heated during cooking (something that happens to oil when heated).

This also means ghee will retain its nutritional properties even after being heated to high temperatures. So it doesn’t cause ageing, AND slows it down too! (Unlike to most other vegetable oils)

Eye health

Vitamin A deficiency is the main cause for night blindness (most of us learnt that in school). Well consuming Desi cow ghee will give you lots of it, and more.

Carotenoids (abundantly contained in ghee) are the substances that neutralize free radicals harming the eyes’ macular cells thereby preventing macular degeneration and cataracts.

Freshly made Desi cow ghee using clean and sterile utensils can also be applied directly to the eyes for a soothing sensation in case of itchiness or irritation.

One can also put a few drops of it in their eyes (you may experience milky vision for a few minutes, but it will go away in a minute or two) and avoid many eye problems. (Just make sure this ghee is stored separately in a sterile container and not used for any other purpose)

Works wonders on the sinuses

An ancient Indian remedy for chronic sinus problems and allergies is desi cow ghee.

People who suffer from irritable sinuses (esp. during weather changes or in dusty environments) will find great relief in desi cow ghee.

Introducing a few drops of Desi cow ghee in the nostrils (preferably while lying down) reduces irritation to a great extent and also soothes the nasal passage from the inside. It is advisable for people with chronic sinus issues to this little exercise every day.

One for the road: Ghee has wonderful moisturizing properties. People with dry skin should apply it as an overnight cream and they will find their skin supple and glowing in the morning.

So while the process of making requires some effort, the miraculous end product is definitely worth it. Add a teaspoon of Desi cow ghee to your diet; you will be healthier, and your food, tastier. Cheers!

P.S.: Don’t forget to check out our infomational article on Desi cow A2 milk.

Holy Cow! What is A2 milk and why you should have it.


Milk and Cookies

Barring some people, milk forms a significant part of every breakfast (Especially for people having cereal) or every diet.

And it actually is no surprise, as it has protein, vitamins, carbohydrates and basically everything that the body needs for daily nutrition and sustenance.

Varieties in milk

Apart from the product differentiation of full cream, skimmed, toned etc., there is a more basic difference in milk varieties, usually due to their constituents. There are mostly 2 such varieties, viz. A1 and A2.

How they are different

Milk contains protein, and one of the three major casein proteins present in milk is beta-casein (The one which makes all the difference). A1 milk contains A1 beta-casein and A2 contains A2 beta-casein protein. A1 and A2 are proteins that differ in structure by one amino acid.

Indian cows and othersImage result for kamdhenu

Indian cows (Gir, Sahiwal etc.) come from the Bos indicus family, while most of others (Jersey, Holstein etc) come from the Bos taurus family.

Indian cows have a dewlap and a hump that are their most prominent distinguishing features. Jerseys / Holsteins have none of these.

Ever wondered why the cow has been worshiped and revered in India since the ancient times? This tradition unfortunately, has been the butt of some jokes; but it has solid basis in science.

One point to note is that according to tradition, it is only the Indian indigenous breeds of cow (the ones with hump and dewlap) that have been considered holy, and none other. Desi (Indian) Cow milk also shares the most compatibility with human mother’s milk; hence desi cows are considered mother-like by Indians.

Only Indian cows give pure A2 milk (which is the only difference that has been researched) which is no less than a treasure of nutrition. Their hump has the Surya-Ketu Nadi (according to yoga, nadis are channels in the etheric body), which absorbs energy from the sun, producing golden salts in their blood as well as milk (this is why cow ghee is golden in color, cow milk has a yellowish tinge).

One could write a whole book on Indian cows, their temperament (which makes their milk much better) their by-products products and their relation with ayurveda and yoga, but I shall stick to the topic here, which is A2 milk.

So, why A2 milk? (And why not A1)

A1 protein produces beta-casomorphin-7 (BCM-7), which is apparently the one causing all the problem (Or rather the only one which is known to), as it is linked with multiple digestive disorders and gastrointestinal problems.

Studies have also linked the consumption of A1 milk to autism. On the contrary, A2 milk is much easier to digest and causes no such problems, but rather is packed with nutrients and medicinal properties.

The BCM7 peptide that comes from A1 protein cannot be broken down by the body. This exogenous opioid is the culprit behind many diseases, as it does not occur naturally within the human body and interacts with human digestive system, internal organs and brain system.

A1 milk also results in an overall increase in LDL or bad cholesterol, which is the reason Image source: Times of India. http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31808&articlexml=Growing-band-of-dairy-farmers-sells-A2-milk-23042017013036behind most cardiovascular ailments. There have been few clinical studies on how A1 milk harmfully affects the body.

A2 milk is the best for kids and toddlers as it is easy to digest, and packed with all essential nutrients that kids need.

I have seen kids having packed milk and I have seen kids having pure Indian cow’s milk (since quite early in their life) and the contrast in their health and activity is huge.

Consumption of A1 milk and deteriorating health

In 1970, India launched one of the world’s biggest dairy development program, Operation Flood.

On a high level, it involved promoting new cow breeds (mostly cross-bred with foreign cows) that gave more yield, thereby rapidly improving the milk production, making India the largest producer of milk.

In the process India lost a lot of its indigenous breeds as they were cross bred with Holstein and Jersey; hence India also lost a big chunk of A2 milk sources. Most of the milk which is currently available in India is A1.

It is not surprising that in the last few decades, India has become the Heart Disease and Diabetes capital of the world. I’d like to add that people have also become easily irritable (that’s another social problem).

This could also be attributed to lifestyle changes, but milk (an essential part of every Indian’s daily diet) definitely has a role to play. There should be more and deeper studies into this subject.

Brazil’s economy got a boost; thanks to Indian cows

Brazil has bred Indian indigenous cows for many decades and they now have a sizeable cow population (about 4 million, almost all of them from Indian breeds). Today it is one of the top 5 milk producers in the world, making the Indian cow a real money spinner for Brazil.

Jersey and HF breeds of cow

The main reason behind many people (especially in India) breeding Holsteins and Jerseys is that they have a better milk yield. All that yield comes at a high cost to health, and people are realizing it only now, and very slowly.

Our biggest problem in this context: desi cow A2 milk, firstly is available in limited places in India, and secondly is priced higher.

The only way to make A2 milk mainstream is awareness. Business investment will automatically follow.

People should realize that A2 milk is something India already had, and chose to throw away for something abundant but inferior. In the long term, A2 milk should be commonly available.

Thousands of people have experienced dramatic improvements in their health just by consuming Indian cow’s A2 milk.

The science is solid; most chronic, lifestyle-related diseases plaguing the urban populace today can be tackled effectively by changing one single part of their nutrition. A2 milk is truly the elixir of life.

P.S.: I usually do not ask this, but would like to say it for this particular article. If it has answered your questions or added to your knowledge, I request you to please share this article as much as possible to spread awareness about A2 milk and Indian cows.

Makhanas or fox nuts: The super food for everyone

An integral part of any north and central Indian kitchen, Makhanas find use in many East Asian delicacies. Makhanas are also known as lotus seeds or fox nuts. They come from a plant called Euryale fox, which grows in stagnant water. In this post, we look at some of the health benefits of having this superfood.

Makhanas are rich in potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium and can fulfill about 37% of one’s daily requirement of manganese. They contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and are quite low in sodium, cholesterol and saturated fat. They are not just a healthy source of carbohydrate, but also a good source of protein.

Anti-ageing

It is not a superfood if it cannot slow down ageing, right? Well not necessarily, but makhanas have enzymes that help repair damaged proteins and therefore keeps your system younger for longer.

Diabetes

Due to their low glycemic index, lotus seeds are slowly digested, absorbed and metabolized thereby preventing insulin levels to spike, yet keeping one energetic for a long time. This property makes them an excellent snack for diabetics.

Heart diseases

2 words, folate and magnesium. Low magnesium levels are linked to coronary heart disease (CHD) and a daily dose of folate / folic acid can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by approx 20%. Makahnas will take care of both these needs thereby making them a must have for a healthy heart.

Blood pressure and hypertension

Low sodium and high potassium in fox nuts significantly brings down high blood pressure and therefore in also beneficial in hypertension.

Kidney health

Makhanas have astringent properties and are beneficial for healthy functioning of the kidneys, and also help prevent kidney stones.

Weight loss

Listen up weight watchers, the low glycemic index of makhanas make you feel full for longer, thereby avoiding frequent hunger pangs, and helping you lose weight without starving yourself.

Digestion

Only 100g of makhanas can fulfill upto 30% of your daily fibre requirement. The high fibre content in lotus seeds help smoothen your digestive process. Makhana can also help improve your appetite.

Reproductive health

Makhanas have been recognized in Ayurveda for their aphrodisiacal properties as well as their role in improving sperm count in men and fertility in women.

Detoxifies the spleen

The spleen is the graveyard of dead red blood cells. Fox nuts help detoxify it, ridding the body of dead cells and purifying the blood stream.

There are interesting ways to eat makhanas, as they do not have an overpowering taste. They usually soak up the flavors added to them.

 

Roasted makhana munchies

Preparation time: 5-7 minutes

Toss some makhanas with some black salt, pepper and turmeric powder in a pan. Add some butter or simply dry roast them for a few minutes. There you have it, a bowl of healthy munchies for your next movie marathon!

Sweet makhana dessert / kheer

Preparation time – 10 minutes

Heat a teaspoon of ghee in a pan, add some makhanas and roast them for a while. After this, add some milk (at least till the makhanas are partially submerged) and bring it to a boil. Add to it, some jaggery or honey (healthier than sugar). You can add chopped cashews, almonds or pistachios to make it more interesting. That’s it! Your dessert is ready. (You may also cool it down and have it like a cool dessert)

If you happen to be a little lazy, you can also have’em straight out from the packet. So do not hesitate to add these guilt free snack packs to your list the next time you go grocery shopping!

Health benefits of Manuka raisins

Manuka raisins

If you like having dry fruits, you’ve probably heard about raisins. They are very common in many desserts and especially Indian delicacies. These small dried grapes have a unique flavor and are packed with nutrients. There are different types od raisins, mostly because of the process of making them, and the type of grapes used. Few examples are currants, golden seedless raisins, muscat raisins etc.

In this post, we look at Monukka / Manuka Raisins.

Manuka raisins (grapes rather) are grown in Samarkand, Uzbekistan and some Himalayan regions to name a few. Manuka raisins are distinguishable by their crunchy seeds. These seeds are supposed to be eaten along and add to the nutrition.

The grapes are mostly sun-dried so they retain all of their nutritional value. They are completely non-GMO and 100% organic.

So let’s get to the benefits of manuka raisins:

Healthy skin

Manuka raisins help improve blood circulation and bring a natural glow to your skin. Also, their germicidal properties help prevent acne and other skin problems.

Healthy digestion

These fruits are rich in fibre content, and therefore will help with digestion and ease constipation. They also help flush out toxins from your body, thereby avoiding many other diseases.

Burn cholesterol

They are packed with potassium, which apart from being an essential mineral, stimulates the burning of cholesterol thereby promoting good cardiac health.

Fight anaemia

Manuka raisins contain good amounts of iron, and help fight anaemia. Also, they contain copper, which helps in production of red blood cells.

Fight cancer

Catechins are polyphenolic antioxidants that scavenge the free radicals in the body. These free radicals are the underlying cause of the spontaneous growth of cancer cells. Manuka raisins are a rich source of catechins and hence help prevent cancer.

Healthy eyes

These dry fruits contain beta carotene and therefore go a long way in maintaining good ocular health. They also slow down macular degeneration and weakening of vision with old age.

Oral and dental health

Manuka raisins contain oleanolic acid, which is known to play a cruicial role in preventing tooth decay, cavities and brittleness of teeth. It not only prevents the growth of bacteria responsible for tooth decay, but its boron content curbs the growth of oral germs thereby promoting good oral health.

Sexual health

People looking to improve their sexual health find great benefits by consuming manuka raisins. They contain arginine, an amino acid which is useful in treating erectile dysfunction and improving sperm motility.

Stronger bones

Regular consumption of manuka raisins helps promote bone health. They contain calcium and small amounts of boron; the latter facilitates absorption of calcium in the bones, making them stronger. Also, the polyphenols and antioxidants in manuka raisins have anti-inflammatory properties, which help ease arthritis pain.

Healthy weight gain

These seeded dry grapes also help healthy weight gain as they are concentrated with fructose and glucose. They are a wonderful addition to a pre-workout snack, giving you an extra energy boost, and also a way of promoting healthy weight gain, minus the cholesterol.

So, go ahead and add this guilt free crunchy treat to your daily meals and experience the benefits first hand.

Benefits of having cinnamon milk regularly

Cinnamon has been used in Indian ayurvedic remedies as a healing agent for thousands of years. Here are 6 benefits of having cinnamon milk.

Cure for insomnia

It’s popular wisdom that having a glass of warm milk before going to bed will help you with a sound sleep. Although, the drink’s properties will be greatly enhanced if you make one small addition to the milk while boiling; cinnamon. Being a warming tonic, cinnamon milk improves blood circulation (great for people who get cold hands and feet at night) and relaxes the body thereby allowing it to gradually wind down and drift off to sleep. It also prevents you from waking up suddenly in the middle of the night by regulating blood sugar levels (avoiding sudden spikes and crashes).

Strong bones

Cinnamon milk is great for maintaining a healthy bone density. Cinnamon itself reduces bone breakdown and helps prevent osteoporotic bone loss. Combine it with milk (which has calcium) and it becomes a powerful bone-health tonic.

Blood sugar

Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance, thereby making it a must for diabetics, weight watchers and basically anyone looking to stay healthy. It also inhibits inflammatory substances and prevents blood platelet clumping

Immunity to diseases

Healthy immune system is something which goes a long way in enjoying life, and this drink enables just that. It is a healthy practice for kids to have cinnamon milk regularly because it will help with increased immunity, which is very important especially during their growth years.

Digestion

In Ayurveda, cinnamon has been used to pacify stomach disorders and balance digestion. Cinnamon milk is also an excellent remedy for people suffering from gas trouble.

Skin

Improved blood circulation (due to cinnamon milk) will take care of most of your skin problems, as it helps bring blood and oxygen to the outer surface of the skin, causing flushing away of toxins and a fuller complexion.

Note: Cinnamon in milk may be used as a powder or as a whole stick (for those who find cinnamon powder a little uncomfortable while consuming the drink). It is best if cinnamon is boiled for a few minutes with milk or steeped in hot milk for some time.

Apart from adding aroma and taste to food, spices have lots of health benefits. With some variations, milk with spices, or masala doodh (spiced milk) has been an ancient ayurvedic health tonic in India for centuries. Let us use some ancient wisdom and add a touch of good health to our hectic lives.

Reduce sugar intake, naturally

An article in a medical journal has claimed that sugar can be as addictive as abusive drugs such as cocaine. While the debate is still on, we all can agree on thing. Too much sugar is not good for you.

Sugar and insulin

As sugar is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, the body releases insulin, in order for the cells to use the sugar for energy or storage. But when one consumes a high amount of sugar on a regular basis, the insulin levels in the blood go high on a regular basis. The problem with too much insulin in the blood is that it  inhibits the fat burning process and rather makes the body absorb some of the fatty acids and glucose in the blood, turning them into body fat.

It therefore comes as no surprise that the first thing a dietician tells everyone trying to lose weight and eat healthy is to eliminate or reduce sugar intake. If you been a regular sweet eater, quitting sweets suddenly might be difficult for you.

How to reduce sugar intake

Reduce the fixed sources

If you know micro-economics, reducing fixed costs always generates more savings than trying to save on one-time variable costs. What that means is, find out what contributes to your sugar intake on a daily basis. For most people it is their tea / coffee. If you take about 2 teaspoons of sugar for a cup and 3 cups of tea / coffee in a day, you consume about 25-30 grams of sugar in a day. For perspective, one piece of gulab jamun contains around 16 grams, and a donut contains about 25 grams. So reducing your sugar intake in your daily tea / coffee is much more effective than trying to avoid even that occasional sweet.

Switch to natural alternatives

Honey is rich in antioxidants and also helps improve cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Jaggery is rich in minerals such as zinc and selenium and also aids digestion. These are better and healthier replacements of refined sugar which have traditionally been used in most Indian households and many ayurvedic medicines. However, for diabetics, they are only half as bad as sugar, and therefore should be consumed in moderation.

Avoid processed food

Processed food is usually anything that comes out of a packet. Processed foods tend to contain large amounts of sugar and salt as a preservative and to make the taste consistent. That includes all types of candy, jams, canned juices and soda pop. If you feel like having candy, opt for a piece (only a piece) of dark bitter chocolate. It contains comparatively less sugar and the cocoa is good for you.

 

Moderation is key; do not binge

Just because you have reduced sugar as a shift to eating clean and cheat days are allowed, do not overcompensate by binging on sweets every once in a while. These sudden spikes in sugar and thereby in insulin can potentially cause more damage to your system. Therefore, having loads of sugar even once a month won’t help.

 

Check added sugarNutrition Facts label

If you must have something out of a packet (ready-to-eat snack), be sure to check the amount of added sugar per 100g of the product. Nutrition stats on packaged food are now mandated and it makes sense to make use of it. The magic number is 22. If any packaged food contains more than 22g of sugar per 100g, or simply, higher than 22%, it’s probably not a good idea to have it.

 

Sweets are one of those entities that add pure joy to eating. And if you want to keep having sweets for a long time in your life, it makes sense to have them in moderation. Have a little, have it for long. I hope these cues to reduce sugar intake are something that you can incorporate daily and early in life as to avert risk factors for many diseases later on in life.