July 15, 2013

Feels good to take a break from routine.  I’m back from a fabulous, fun-filled vacation and will resume writing from today.  If you have anything interesting to say, please do write.

Not sure if any of you read my articles on ‘Lactose Intolerance’ and ‘Ragi’ in The Times of India.  If you did, comments are welcome.

I came across an article in Reuters which said there is no scientific evidence to support blood-type diets.  I felt good after reading it.  Nutritionists and dietitians have been saying over and over again that fad diets for weight loss are just that – fads – and no matter what fad diet you try, it doesn’t work in the long run.  The best and healthiest way to lose weight is to eat sensibly and exercise regularly. So, if you’re planning to go on a weight loss program, please do so with the help of a qualified dietitian, and do not fall for advertisements which promise quick weight loss.


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June 4, 2013

There has been a lot of debate on whether to use plastic containers / wrappers, for food or not.  There’s still no uniform ban on storing food in plastics but I don’t think many researchers are encouraging it either.

All of us know that plastics contain chemicals.  There’s no knowing the long term effects of chemicals on food consumed by humans.  Some say that BPA (bisphenol A) which is used in making plastics and resins (water bottles, food containers, food cans, bottle tops, etc) can seep into the food or beverage that it carries and may affect brain or prostate of infants and children.  However, US FDA says its safe.  Some others say that phthalate chemicals used to make soft plastics and also used in cosmetics, can increase blood pressure and cause artery wall damage in children.

While the debate is still on, here are a few steps you can take to reduce plastic use for food –

  • Cut back on canned foods
  • Avoid putting plastic containers in microwave oven and dishwasher, because the plastic may breakdown over time, and the chemicals can leach into the food.
  • Use bottles, glass, ceramic containers, to store foods and beverages.

I’m off on a vacation for 5 weeks and will resume blogging after my return, unless I have something interesting to share during my vacation!

Take care and wish you good health!

2 Comments | Posted by admin at 4:46 am. 2 comments already!
May 30, 2013

I came across an article on shilajit and its health claims.  This article quotes a western pharmacist who says that there is no known benefit of shilajit or other rock extracts.  The same article also quotes an Ayurvedic specialist who mentions the health benefits of shilajit when taken in small amounts.  My thinking is that shilajit might be new to the developed world but it’s been used for centuries in Indian traditional medicine. In the US, shilajit is sold as powder and capsules, and can cost anything from 10 USD to 100 USD.  I’m not sure if shilajit is similarly available in India.

Shilajit is a rock extract from the Himalayas containing a variety of minerals, and is an ingredient in many ayurvedic preparations including chavanprash.  According to ayurveda, it is a good antioxidant and helps in anti aging,  treating anemia, arthritis, etc.  But, it can be harmful to health when taken in large doses.  It’s best to check with a qualified ayurvedic physician before taking shilajit.

1 Comments | Posted by admin at 4:54 am. 1 comment.
May 27, 2013

Somebody once remarked “When blackberry and apple were fruits, the world was a much better place”.

Similarly, when children ate fresh, home-cooked food, their health was far better.  New research has found that in children, type 2 diabetes (adult diabetes) progresses much faster and the complications related to diabetes appear much sooner in life.  This means  we might see heart disease, kidney disease and other diabetes-related problems in younger adults in future.  An excess of junk foods, processed foods, refined foods, eating out frequently, coupled with physical inactivity is leading children to adult diseases in their teenage years.  It is not uncommon to see obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or type 2 diabetes in school or college going children these days.  A preventive measure will certainly help.

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May 23, 2013

Some of you might have tried the winning salad that I published last week. Here’s the recipe of another salad that won in the contest. This was made by Kirthika Nallan Chakravathy.


Avocado (ripe) – 1
Fresh cream – 1/4 cup
Milk – 1/4 cup
Onion – 1
Tomato (chopped) – 1
Garlic – 1
Lemon juice –  quarter cup
Cilantro – 2 to 3 stalks
Groundnuts (boiled) – 5 to 6
Green chili – 1
Salt to taste
Sugar – a pinch
Pepper – a pinch

For Presentation:
Carrot (boiled)
Cottage Cheese
Potato (boiled)
Beetroot (boiled)

Method of preparation:
Chop onion and mix it with boiled groundnuts.  Scoop the pulp of the avocado and mash it until it forms a paste. To it add the cream, milk, garlic, green chili, cilantro, sugar and salt and blend them together in a mixer.  Take 3/4 of the paste and add it to the onion-groundnut mixture.  Add a pinch of pepper to it.  Leave the bowl in the refrigerator or on top of ice for about 15 to 30 minutes for it to chill. At the end of 20 minutes, add chopped tomato.

For the “cube” part of the salad, boil carrot, potato, beetroot in separate containers, so that their colors don’t mix.  Cut the carrot, beetroot, cottage cheese and potato to even sized cubes and arrange them to resemble a Rubik’s cube.  Use the remaining 1/4 avocado paste to glue the cubes together, sprinkle some salt and lemon juice on the cube.  Make another Rubik’s cube of the same kind.  Place the cubes on either side of the chilled salad.  Use lettuce leaves for presentation.

Fresh and chilled “cube cado” is ready to be served.


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