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Perfect summer diet

The blazing, cruel sun and its scorching heat, and the hot, humid weather surely bogs anyone down. To make matters worse, being a bit less careful about what you eat in summer can be disastrous. Choosing a smart diet can sometimes be tricky; thinking through the obvious, the not-so-obvious and the myths. Read through as Star Lifestyle explores the contents of the perfect summer diet, the one that will keep you in the pink amidst the heat.

First of all, the importance of drinking plenty of water in summer cannot be overstated. But how plenty is plenty? "An average person should drink about two to two and a half litres of water everyday," advised Shamsunnaher Nahid, a nutritionist and dietician. Due to excessive perspiration in this humid weather, you need to ensure you don't get dehydrated. If you work outdoors for long hours, a bottle of water is a life-saver.

Drinking plenty of fluids also helps prevent heat exhaustion, or, in more extreme cases, heat stroke. To avoid such hazards, wear light-coloured and loosely fitted clothing. Try to be in the shade instead of under the sun's inferno for prolonged periods. Don't dare over-exercise in hot weather. An exercise session should have a few periodic breaks when you rest in a cool place and splash some water on your face.

Summer is blessed with delicious fruits. Having watery fruits like watermelon, litchi, etc., is nutritious as well as delightful. And don't miss out on the various refreshing juices. But don't get too elated and buy yourself some commercially available canned or packaged drink! If you want to help yourself, go for "pure" juice. Coconut water is also an excellent summer drink that comes with a stream of benefits. Lassi, matha and sherbet are great summer drinks as well.

Indeed, drinking water or juice in such hot weather feels heavenly. If you really crave something in this burning weather, then that's ice cream or carbonated drinks! Makes you cool, right? Actually, wrong! It only gives you a temporary feeling of "coolness". Don't fall for the trap.

Ironically, these should be avoided in summer, as they interfere with a body's own cooling mechanism. Moreover, the additives, flavours and preservatives such foods contain are likely to increase the body temperature; they may sometimes cause indigestion as well.

Coffee and alcohol are no good either: they contain substances that increase the rate of urination, thus resulting in more water loss.

You must, of course, also avoid street food. Specifically, keep away from those street food items that use water (e.g. chotpoti, fuchka, etc). Warm weather conditions are ideal for germs to spread, thus the need for extra precaution. Therefore, parents might want to pack home-made lunches for school-goers, at least during summer.

In summer, make sure you cut your digestive tract some slack. Avoid oily and spicy foods. The more oily or spicy the food is, the greater the chance for indigestion. Cases of problems with digestion are high during this season.

Eat eggs boiled or water-poached, instead of an omelette. Avoid deep fried food. Eat plain rice and try to resist eating rich foods like biriyani, tehari, etc. Fish is better than meat. For animal protein, eat white meat (e.g. chicken) instead of red meat (e.g. beef, mutton) as it is easier to digest.

Vegetables -- preferably those high in water content -- such as korola (bitter gourd), cucumbers, tomatoes, etc., are always great. Avoid oil-dressing in your salad. Eat roti, but don't go for paratha or luchi. Try to use a minimal amount of oil in cooking. And when you do use oil, go for vegetable oil. Dal should be thin; and opt out more for khatta. Also, make sure the milk you drink is less dense.

Even after doing all these, you might still fall ill if you are not cautious about the water used in cooking. Nahid advised, "There are many people who don't use boiled water as they assume the water gets boiled and becomes germ-free on the heat while cooking. However, many recipes do not necessitate cooking to the extent to which water will start to boil and become germ-free. Thus, make sure you use boiled or distilled or mineral water in food preparation."

You need to be obsessive about hygiene in summer. Nahid added, "It's wise to even avoid doing the dishes with tap water." The hot, humid weather is perfect for germs to multiply. And, because of that, you must also avoid keeping food on the table for a long time. "If you cook once a day, put the ones you're going to eat later in the fridge soon, as they might gradually become toxic", she said.

But if you do fall sick, make sure you visit the doctor. One of the most common illnesses is diarrhoea. Nahid says, "Someone suffering from diarrhoea needs to intake plenty of saline. But this must not be understood as the treatment for diarrhoea. Taking saline water only helps regain the water and electrolyte balance of the body. A person suffering from diarrhoea must get proper treatment."

Electrolytes (elements such as potassium and calcium) help in the proper functioning of nerves, organs and muscles. These elements, however, drain away through sweat and urination. Add foods that have high electrolyte content, like baked potato, banana, raisins, broccoli, milk and yoghurt.

Now that you know the right diet, simply incorporate it with an overall healthy and regular lifestyle and you'll surely be able to beat the summer heat. Have a happy summer!

By M H Haider
Thanks to Shamsunnaher Nahid, dietician and nutritionist, Central Hospital Limited, Green Road.


Summer bling

After the fuss and the feathers of the past party season, this is the time to switch to comfy casuals and enjoy the simplicity of quick style fixes. The same rules apply to jewellery this season.

Leave those diamonds and pearls in their boxes; they've earned their rest. Reach, instead, for these trendy pieces that complement your everyday casual wear, and add a little dash of fun to your work clothes.

Stacking rings
While the “less is more” rule holds true for make-up, hair and clothes, and yes, even your jewellery, it may not be such a bad idea to bend it in this one case. Simple, fun bands that can be worn on their own are twice as fun if stacked together to create a bigger piece.

For everyday affairs, you can stack two or three ceramic or jade rings to add a quick pop of colour to a neutral outfit. This look also translates into evening wear if you have stackable gold or silver bands.

One simple formula to remember is that only one ring in a stack of 3-5 is allowed to be ornate. The rest may be colourful, but should not have too much detailing.

Boho chic
Beads, feather and bones is where it's at this season. The more unusual the material, the greater the head-turning effect. We're loving big wooden beads for necklaces, as well as bibs made from brass or clay. You can find these at places like Deshal, Aarong, and Mayasir. They work great with solid colours. And feather earrings? To die for. Play with textures and materials to create your own wacky signature.

Layering bracelets
This nifty trend combines the two trends mentioned above. Chunky wooden bracelets with traditional rickshaw-painting, fabric covered bangles, and leather bands are all great ways to add a little fun to your outfit without hurting your wallet. While you'll find many of these ornaments at places like Jatra and Bibi's, they make a great DIY craft project, and will probably be cheaper too.

Coins and charms worn as jewellery tell a story. They can be excellent conversation pieces, and you can personalise them every which way you like. If you can't find ready-made charm bracelets or necklaces that you like, buy simple chains first, and then get a mechanic or someone with the right tools to pierce holes in some coins for you (leftover change from foreign currency you used on trips are ideal for this). Thread through with wire, and cover with gold paint, and voila! You have your own. They make great gifts for friends too.

Art, ingenuity, and a sense of adventure are three words that sum up the hottest casual jewellery trends this season. Use a little of each, and you're well on your way.

By Bossa Nova


Walking the Walk

Ever since flats came back into fashion, the virtues of walking seem to be speaking louder. More and more of us now abandon the rickshaw ride and walk the short distances to our destinations. Trade those stilettos for one of the fabulously stylish flats out there and ditch that stuck-for-God-Knows-how-long rickshaw or car to experience the thrills and adventures of 'walking'.

Walking is known to be the third best form of exercise, coming in right after swimming -- in the number one spot -- and jogging, but it stands as a clear winner when we consider feasibility.

Walking can be easily incorporated into our busy lives and a recent Harvard University study showed that we can sustain an exercise regime when it can be made a part of our everyday routine. Walking requires no instruments or facilities (apart from a good pair of legs) and it makes life in a metropolis like ours more efficient. Just imagine your life without the worry of red lights, double parking or the 6 o'clock traffic nightmare. Pure bliss!

Apart from making life easier, walking also makes life healthier, a fact we are all well aware of. It reduces the risk of heart disease by 40 percent, helps prevent and control diabetes, maintains proper circulation and blood pressure and bolsters the immune system.

Its benefits are not limited to physical excellence only. Walking has also been proven to increase brainpower and combat depression. In our daily lives full of air pollution and contaminated edibles, not to mention disasters and crimes, we could all do with a superhuman defence mechanism from the inside and a big smile on the outside.

In case you are inspired to grab that old pair of sneakers and dash out that door this instance, do pay heed to this one fact, your safety. Most victims of mugging have been travellers on foot. So look at that clock before you set out for your happier, healthier future and make sure that you choose a location with enough people to ensure your safety. After all, Dhaka is a city full of queer and dodgy characters.

A common belief is that Dhaka City and walking don't go together, with all its impediments. Yes, the footpaths are occupied and the parks are poorly managed. Every person on the streets seems to be staring at you and the heat, the dust and noise all combine to form the perfect deterrent against walking.

Nonetheless once you start looking for opportunities to walk, you will be amazed at how many there are. You can take the over-bridge while crossing streets for instance or use by-lanes as much as possible to cover short distances, avoiding the chaos of the main streets.

So there it is; all the reasons why you should start working those calf muscles a little more. Walking is healthy and enlightening. It keeps you happy and young, but most importantly, walking is now in style.

By Raisaa Tashnova

A walk around the block

Although it might seem implausible, Dhaka city does have dedicated walking parks for each of its major areas. Match your locality to your park from the list below.

Shiddeswari/Baily Road/Eskaton
Ramna Park is the place to go for a walk if you reside in these areas. This is a hub for serious walkers but should be avoided in the dark hours unless you want a rendezvous with petty crime. You can also take a walk in and around the Dhaka University campus, an area littered with greenery and scenic displays of architectural brilliance and of course a place that boasts memories of a rich and at times, violent history.

The main walking park here is Dhanmondi Lake. Crowded in the mornings and evenings by joggers and walkers, this is a safe and secure area for you to frequent. Apart from walking one can also peruse the numerous fresh vegetables and fish that are on sale especially during the early hours. Avoid the park or the streets next to it when it gets dark.


The area around Shangshad Bhaban is ideal for a walking regime to be conducted. With the great architecture of the building itself as a backdrop, walking on those wide, red brick pavements has a unique satisfaction element to it. Plus the ambience is an excellent one as well. Laughing circles, karate and football all take place in this green paradise located right in the middle of an otherwise bustling concrete jungle. Plenty of replenishments are also available for thirsty walkers who need just that kind of respite.

The New DOHS Park, WASA Field, Chairmanbari Field are all at your disposal if you are a resident of these areas. Considered to be quite secure, these areas are ideal places to get away from the buzzing Gulshan crowds.

Gulshan/ Baridhara
This locality has Gulshan Lake to satisfy your walking requirements. The Ladies Park is also a close walk for the locals as is Baridhara DOHS Park.

Once again a lake and its surroundings is the place to go to. Uttara Lake provides the proper walkways to grind your shoes on.

Some may frown upon the areas mentioned above but wake up early in the morning to find out where the Dhaka vibe really awakens.

By Raisaa Tashnova


Single and rocking it

Don't you have anyone to give that teddy and those chocolate covered hearts to? Well, throw away the depression and the Teddy, eat the hearts and immerse in these beats which tell you just how much better off you are without that significant other. Without further ado we bring you a playlist consisting of songs that remind you of just how great it is to be single:

Available by Flo-Rida Featuring Akon
The hottest rap and RnB stars, respectively, cannot be wrong. This track finds Flo-Rida dropping an ode to the single life with Akon crooning in the background. This is the song to listen to if you are thankfully alone. Flo-Rida knows what's best and with his words, it takes the first few opening bars to convince any average listener. 'Cause I ain't got no girlfriend, got no obligation. Baby I'm a single man, that's my situation. So Let me put your number in my I-phone baby…'

Hard by Rihanna
A bitter break-up with no-man Chris Brown led to this gem. In this song, we find Rihanna dusting herself after the blows dealt to her by life and standing up strong. The female artist is possibly at her best, spitting venom and ensuring that Chris cringes at every vocal struck.

If you have been through a bad break up, its time to stop crying and stand tall. We'll let Rihanna's brazenness convince you. She knows she's going places and can't be held back when she declares that she is 'Brilliant, resilient/ Fan mail from 27 million.'

Since You Have Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson
In this track we find Kelly Clarkson revealing the complications of a failed relationship, from the short-lived honeymoon period, the bitter break-up to the feeling of freedom. The lyrics expose Kelly's vulnerability while emphasising on her strength to move on.

Truly a wonderful listen for anyone who needs to understand that being loved in chains is nothing compared to living life unshackled. Many relationships are based just on pretence and in this Kelly finds herself finally seeing through the pretence and breathing a sigh of relief. 'But since you have been gone/ I can breathe for the first time, I'm so movin' on…'

Heartless by Kanye West
'In the night, I hear 'em talk, The coldest story ever told/ Somewhere far along this road/ he lost his soul/ to a woman so heartless...'

The introductory lines of the song set the mood for the rest of it. This dark song about the heartlessness of some invokes numerous bitter memories in all of us. Kanye gives you a reason to be grateful for never having gone through the inevitable heartbreak.

From moving lyrical content to hypnotising beats, Heartless is a true classic. Listen to what he has to say and stay away from Doctor Evil.

I Get Around by 2pac Shakur
Legends tell no lies. In this playful song, 2pac teams with Bone and Shock G, to produce this classic. No commitments are preached in this title as all three men stick to talking about having a good time with no strings attached.

2pac knows it's important to romanticise your woman, so he flirts throughout the song only to proclaim that you 'can't tie me down, baby girl'. The greatest rapper feels thugs get lonely too but for now it's best to be 'single and lovin' it'. 2pac delivers his sermon with a vengeance only he could muster. 'Cause I only got one night in town, break out or be clown/ Baby doll are you down?/ I get around'

By Osama Rahman


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