In an ongoing effort to emphasize health education, BAPS Charities organized a Health Awareness Lecture specifically for women in Houston, TX on June 7, 2015 and presented by Dr. Parin Patel and Dr. Varsha Patel. As part of 11 such lectures held across North America, it focused on educating women on how to incorporate healthy habits into their lives on a daily basis and showed them how they can impact the health of their entire families by making small changes.
The lectures consisted of two presentations consisting of healthy living practices and maintaining a healthy mindset. The healthy living presentation focused on white rice substitutes. White rice is a typical staple in an Indian diet, but many people do not realize that there are healthier substitutes available that can be more beneficial to their health. White rice is stripped of all nutrition during processing and can also increase the risk of diabetes due to its high score on the glycemic index. The lecture focused on healthier alternatives to white rice and their benefits, and it also gave creative ideas on how to incorporate foods such as quinoa and couscous into an everyday diet. After the lecture, audience members had the opportunity to taste dishes prepared from such rice substitutes so they could see how taste does not have to be sacrificed when eating healthier alternatives.
The healthy mindset portion of the lectures focused on stress management. Stress is something we all experience in our routine lives, so learning how to cope with its effects is very important for our physical and mental well-being. Effective stress management involves learning to recognize the signs of stress, identifying trigger factors and applying proper techniques to cope with our stress. This presentation informed women about the many causes of stress – a number of which were simple things that many people do not realize have a major impact on their stress levels. The lecture also gave tips on how to reduce stress with simple methods that should be done for a short period every day and can lead to long-lasting results.