Monday, March 24, 2014

Healthy recipe: Baked Fish

Fish is good for you, and you know that. Ditch the fried variety and make this healthier but equally tastier one.

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Ingredients:

1 whole fish like pomfret, tilapia ( cleaned and descaled)
Green chillies- 3
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp.
Fresh pepper powder- 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp.
Lemon juice - 1 tsp.
Curry leaves- a handful
Salt- to taste
Coconut milk- 1 tbsp


For the marinade
  • Kashmiri chilly powder - 1/2 tsp.
  • Turmeric powder- 1 big pinch.
  • Pepper: 1 big pinch.
  • Lime juice: 1/2 tsp 
  • Salt: 1/2 tsp.
  • Coconut milk - 1 tsp

Method of making: 

Step 1:
Make a marinade by mixing all the spices with a little water to make a smooth paste

Step 2:
Ensure that the fish is evenly coated in the marinade for about 20 minutes

Step 3: Make a paste with the remaining ingredients and rub it well on the fish on both sides. Make grooves with a knife for better taste

Step 4: Place the fish on a baking tray of a pre heated oven and bake for 20 minutes till it is well cooked.

Step 5:
Serve hot with some steamed rice.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Nutrition powerhouse: Poha

Healthy and delicious, here's why poha makes for an excellent meal.


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Poha (rice flakes) is one of those Indian dishes that can be had for breakfast, lunch or even as a snack. Made from flattened or beaten rice, it can be made in a jiffy and is highly nutritious, too.

How is it made:
Rice is parboiled, flattened and dried to make the thin flakes. All over India, poha is made in many different ways making it a very versatile dish. Here we look at the many nutrition benefits of the humble poha.

Benefits of eating poha
Loaded with Iron: Eating poha regularly can prevent iron deficiency, anemia. Children as well as pregnant and lactating women can benefit greatly by eating a plate of it. Softened poha is also a great way to add dietary iron when an infant is weaned. Sufficient iron helps the body to produce hemoglobin, that carries oxygen to body cells and also builds immunity. Adding a dash of lime to poha, helps improve iron absorption greatly.

A complete meal: Mixed vegetables can be added to rice flakes to make it rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Add sprouts, soya nuggets, peanuts and even boiled eggs to make a well balanced and high-protein meal out of it. It makes a tasty and healthy packed lunch for toddlers, as well as office goers. Opt for beaten rice made from brown rice for an extra health boost.
Check out, Recipe: Baked poha

Carbohydrates are available in plenty in a bowl of poha. This makes it the perfect breakfast option to give you energy to kick-start your day. It can be eaten for a snack too in place of unhealthy, processed junk like chips and biscuits.

It's gluten free: If you are gluten intolerant, then replace wheat and barley with poha. It has very low amounts of gluten and can safely be eaten without causing symptoms like bloating and stomach pain. It's so versatile, it can made in a variety of ways to break monotony. Each state in India has it's own version of this dish.

Calorie count:

Vegetable Poha: 244 Kcal

Peanut Poha: 589 Kcal

Huli Avalakki: 222 Kcal



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cheap and Healthy: how to eat healthy on a budget

You don't have to spend a lot of money in your quest to eating healthy. Here are some tips to keep your grocery bill under check. 


Eat Seasonal
Fruits and vegetables when eaten seasonally have many benefits. They are not stored or transported for long periods, and hence have a maximum concentration of nutrients. And since they available in plenty, they are cheaper; just simple demand vs. supply . 
Buy Local
Why buy imported apples when you can get perfectly good ones at your local bazaar. Buying locally available fruits (papaya, amla, guava) and vegetables (greens and gourds), will not only boost health but also not pinch your pockets.

Buy Unbranded Grocery 
Unbranded anything doesn't have to be of poorer quality. They are plenty of grocery stores that offer good quality flour, rice, lentils or oats, that are high in quality and not branded. And these are likely to cost a little less than the branded stuff. 

Don't Shop Hungry
Avoid shopping on an empty stomach: This will help curb impulse buying and save you money.

Make your own Curd, up your Savings! 
Many of us end up shelling a few tens of rupees buying curd every day. Learn to make your own curd, and save big bucks at the end of the month. And it's actually really easy to make.

Ditch Processed Food
Whole foods are healthier and easier on the pocket than processed foods. Having idli for breakfast is any day cheaper that a bowl of cornflakes.

Buy and Cook in Bulk
Buying in bulk is likely to get you discounted rates, and will also save you multiple trips to the store. You can do this with grains and flours, and even fruits and veggies. Also, consider cooking large batches whenever you can. Freezing the extras is a smart way to save money and time.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Pregnancy diet myths busted

Baby on the way? Read this. 

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For every mom to be, a healthy diet is top priority. But it can be confusing when one is bombarded with information on what to eat and what not to. Here we debunk the five most common diet myths. 

Eating certain foods will give you a fair child: Older women in most homes encourage pregnant women to have Kesar ka doodh (saffron milk) and coconut in the hopes of having a fair baby. There is no truth whatsoever to this claim as food plays no role in the skin colour of a baby. How a baby looks depends solely on genetics. 

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Do not eat papaya and pineapple-  Some animal studies have shown the possibility of raw papaya to have abortificant properties. However the beta-carotene-rich, ripe papaya is completely safe for consumption on a daily basis. Pineapple is another fruit that pregnant women avoid as they fear it can cause a miscarriage. There is no scientific study to support this, so go and eat 'em.
             
Eat for Two- If you are eating large portions of ghee-laden food to nourish your baby, think again. Calorie needs increase by only 300 calories during pregnancy. This can be easily met by having 2 extra cups of milk and a serving of fruit. Excess weight gain during pregnancy will only increase aches and pains as well as risk of diabetes, hypertension and a cesarean birth.

Food can heat or cool up the body- Eating mango can heat up the body and methi (fenugreek) can cool your system, thus affecting pregnancy. Heard this before? This is a bogus claim and not true at all. The temperature of the body is controlled by the hypothalamus and not by what we eat.

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Coffee is bad for the baby- For coffee lovers, giving up their daily cuppa can be arduous. The good news is that 2 cups of coffee (approximately 200 milligrams of caffeine) a day is perfectly safe. Not only is it loaded with antioxidants, coffee when consumed moderately has no effect on the health of the baby.


Ditch these myths and eat all foods in moderation for a healthy pregnancy. Remember to exercise too!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

8 must-eat winter foods

As the temperature continues to dip in many parts of the country, we tell you what to include in your diet to beat the chills and its ills.

The winter months can be harsh on you. From dry and chapped skin to colds and the flu, it can leave you susceptible to a host of problems. Eat these super foods to protect yourself through the season:


Ginger

This wonder root has long been used as a natural treatment for colds and the flu.
In the Indian system of Ayurveda, ginger is considered one of the healthiest medicinal foods, that must be included in the winter diet.



Garlic 
It boosts immunity, and has great antibacterial and antiviral benefits that are the stuff of legends. The sulfur compounds in garlic have been shown to function as antioxidants that can block cancer. 
Additionally, it's anti-inflammatory properties is beneficial for conditions, like asthma, heart disease and rheumatoid cancer.


Honey
All types of honey has antibacterial properties. This is because the bees add an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide into honey. And hydrogen peroxide is known to fight infection. 
Honey helps contain cough and throat irritation. And is also great for your skin. In fact, the anti-oxidant properties in honey are also known to cut risk of certain kinds of cancer.




Sesame seeds 
If you're unable to bear the chilly weather, snack on some til (sesame) laddosTil laddoos/chikkis, typically consumed during the winter months, are believed to increase body heat, which can help you stay warm.
These little oil seeds are known to help your body fight infection, and chest congestion.



Coffee
Among its benefits are: waking people up in the morning, the ability to clear one's mind and the positive effect it has in battling mental health issues, such as depression. Coffee, too, help increase body temperature, keeping you warm during the winter months. 



Oranges 
Winter is the season for citrus fruits, oranges, moosambi (sweet lime) and plenty others. By popular vote, we pick oranges. 
Loaded with vitamin-C, oranges, can help your body fight the colds and the flu, keeping you healthy this season.  


Mustard leaves 
The young, tender leaves of the mustard plant are used in the preparation of the popular Punjabi dish sarson ka saag (mustard-leaf curry).
These leaves are highly nutritious, loaded with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, vital for a healthy immune system. 



Cod liver oil
The vitamin-D content in cod liver oil is a boon for those in chilly, cloudy areas, who don't get this essential nutrient from the sun. 
This fish oil is also known to be a good immunity booster, so keep them handy this winter.

Photographs courtesy sxc.hu and Creative Commons

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Stop weighing on the scale to check weight loss

Your weighing scale doesn't always give you the full picture. These non-scale victories are what you should be looking out for.

                                                                                    Source: sxc.hu
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So, you start a new diet and fitness regime in earnest. You exercise, eat right, and strictly go by the book. A couple weeks down the line, you take a peek at that weighing scale, and you're horrified to see that you've lost very little weight. But, this isn't the time for self-doubt, depression or anxiety. Instead celebrate these amazing victories. 
                Source: Flickr

You are sleeping better
When you’re eating unhealthy food and your body doesn't get enough exercise, you tend to sleep in fits and wake up many times during the night. But when you exercise regularly and eat healthy, you are likely to sleep soundly at night.

You have more energy 
You may no longer feel bloated after a meal because you are eating healthier. Your energy levels are higher, and you are more cheerful.

Your pants are looser
Take a look at your clothes. Those pants that used to fit you snugly might be hanging loose on your slimmer frame. You are able to ease into them now unlike before when you had to sit (or lie) down and yank them up your legs. Maybe you're having to buckle the belt a notch tighter. 
  Source: sxc.hu

You have lost inches 
Measure the circumference of your upper arms, waist, hips, and your thighs. All these measurements have gone down in comparison to what they were.

People are complimenting you 
Friends and family will probably compliment you on your glowing skin and healthier look. They may even ask you for your diet/exercise secrets!

You have more endurance
Remember the time when you first started exercising? You were out of breath in the first 10 minutes or so. Now, you’re able to lift heavier weights, do more intensive yoga, or run for longer on the treadmill. 

You are healthier

You’re falling ill less frequently. And that diabetes, cholesterol or blood pressure is in control. 
           Source: sxc.hu

You can fit into your clothes from when you were younger
Those ripped jeans from college, that beloved t-shirt you thought you could never fit into again, remember them? Take 'em out and try 'em on. If you are fitting into them again, then you've made progress.

Friday, January 10, 2014

5 Things that might be leading to Weight Gain

You have stayed off colas, fried snacks and candies, but still gained weight. Check to see if any of these are contributing to that weight gain. 

Sxc.hu
Not eating enough

If you've gone on a diet, halved what you eat and still put on a kilo or two, then this could be it. Skimping on food causes a dip in the metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories), as the body is signalled to conserve energy. And this slowdown causes your body to store energy as fat. 

SOLUTION: So if you're trying to lose weight, make sure you eat a balanced meal, and exercise regularly. 

Lack of snooze time 

Multiple studies suggest that people who don't sleep well, are likely to weigh more. Sleep deprivation can alter one's eating habits, causing one to overeat and binge on unhealthy foods. Also, if you haven't got enough shut eye, you're likely to be tired, and not exercise. 

SOLUTION: Get enough sleep! 

Eating your kid's leftovers 

If you have a young child at home, then there's a high chance that all that weight you've gained is coming from their leftover calories. Kids are generally given high-calorie foods. Even the simple dal chawal is served with dollops of ghee. So eating their leftovers is going to up your calories. What's worse, most parents end up eating their child's leftovers after finishing their meal, which means more calories. 

SOLUTION: Your kid didn't finish his/her meal? Save the leftovers for another meal. Do not eat it yourself. We repeat, do not eat it yourself. 

Nibbling while you cook

You might think that tasting just a bit of that high-calorie halwa, fried snack or just any special meal your making for the rest of the fam won't do you harm. But doing that more than few times a week can lead to tons of extra calories during the course of one week. 

SOLUTION: We know that serving a new dish blindly is nothing short of a gamble. So stick to time-tested recipes for everyday cooking, and limit new recipes and special foods to just once a week. 

Beer and cocktails!

Drinking can do much damage to your waistline. For one, it can curb inhibitions, causing you to binge on chips and cheese. Two, the liquid diet itself is loaded with calories. 

SOLUTION: Limit your drinking to once a week or less, and keep a tab on how much you drink. Keep healthy snacks around while you do.