Thursday, 12 May 2011

Healthy food for your eyes

When it comes to foods for the eyes, carrots are right on top of everyone's list. However, this rich source of vitamin A is not the only ingredient of ahealthy eye diet. 

Vitamin A prevents night blindness and focal drying of the eyes called Xerophthalmia and can retard the development of cataracts and macular age related changes.

You can get vitamin A from two types of food sources: Animal products that contain vitamin A (such as liver or butter) or plant products that contain carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A. Foods containing carotene are usually yellow or orange, or leafy and green.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin can also be very helpful for maintaining retinal health. Not only do they delay changes in the retina but also act as good protection. The best source of lutein and zeaxanthin is green, leafy vegetables, particularly spinach. Kale and collard greens are also good choices. You can also find lutein and zeaxanthin in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, such as corn.

Vitamin C, an antioxidant, works well for the retina, delays cataracts, and is helpful in the healing and strengthening of the eye. If you smoke, drink or have diabetes, you should increase you vitamin C intake, because its levels will tend to be lower than average. Citrus fruits, berries, peppers, tropical fruits, potatoes and green, leafy vegetables are good sources.

Some minerals are very essential for the eye. Selenium, for example, both helps your body to absorb vitamin E and helps it to make its own antioxidants. Brazil nuts, yeast and seafood (like oysters) contain good amounts of selenium. Zinc helps your body to absorb vitamin A and is also part of an enzyme in your body that reduces the number of free radicals. Zinc might also protect against macular degeneration and night blindness. You can get zinc from, wheat and nuts.

The best source of omega-3 fatty acids is cold-water fish, which is high in both EPA and DHA, Alternate source include vegetable oils (including foods made from vegetable oils, like margarine); and the popular evening primrose supplements. The best way to take care of the eyes is to eat a healthy diet and to have an eye checkup at regular intervals. A six-monthly checkup after the age of 40 should be mandatory. A good checkup can detect most problems well before they occur and if existent, can be treated easily. 

Carbs for a healthy diet

very food stuff has good and bad carbohydrates. Look out for Nutritional Facts and ingredients printed on the packets of these foodstuff to know what and how much are you consuming. 

Carbohydrates are often thought of as the 'bad guys' in a healthy diet plan. But not all carbs are created equal. While some diets will see you enjoy good carbs such as non-starchy vegetables and legumes, and eliminate all starchy and sugary carbs to help balance your blood-sugar levels and control cravings, with some other diets more "good" carbs, such as whole-grains, fruits, and certain starchy vegetables, like sweet potatoes and winter squash, are reintroduced. The key to choosing healthy carbs is to focus on those that are high in fiber.

Good carbohydrates include those found in nutritious, high-fiber fruits and vegetables, legumes, unrefined whole grains, and certain types of rice, such as brown and wild. Unfortunately, fiber is often removed from grains during processing to produce a smoother texture and to extend the shelf life of breads and other baked goods. Without fiber, processed grains become essentially chains of glucose (sugar) molecules known as starches, which are devoid of nutrients. These bad carbs must be avoided on a healthy diet.

Besides being packed with vitamins and minerals, good carbs contain plenty of fiber, which takes longer to digest, thus keeping blood-sugar levels steady - and cravings at bay.

When you pick up a product, be sure to first check out the Nutrition Facts panel. This will show you the total amount of carbohydrates and how much of that total comes from fiber and sugar. The higher the fiber in a product the better it is refined flour products often have very little.

Then look at the ingredients list to see where the fiber is coming from. The first ingredient should have the word "whole" in front of a specific grain (like whole wheat and whole oats) or should list a lesser-known (but still whole) grain, like brown rice, bulgur, kamut, millet, or quinoa. Finally, for the healthiest choices, look for whole-grain breads that contain no trans fats and at least three grams of dietary fiber per slice. 

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

5 Ways to work out at home

You don't need an expensive membership to a fitness club or a personal trainer to be healthy and fit. Some easy workouts can be done from the comfort of your own living room. 

Not only does it give you privacy, but also a certain level of convenience and a relaxed ambience. You could exercise alone or call a friend over but always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. Here are a few simple things you could do.

Stair climbing 
If you have a staircase at home, you can get a great workout by simply climbing the stairs. To start, step up onto the first stair, and then back down. Repeat this move on the first stair ten times. Then walk up the first two stairs, and then back down. Repeat this ten times. You will definitely feel the burn by the end of this step routine. If you feel winded or dizzy, start slow. Stick with the first three stairs, and gradually build up your endurance over the weeks and months to come.

Laundry lifts 
A laundry basket full of clothes can be more than a household chore .It can also serve as an arm exercise apparatus. Hold the basket above your head, and lift upwards and back down. Do this at least three times. If it is too heavy for you, all you have to do is take out some clothes. This exercise will work your shoulders, upper arms and upper back muscles. Vary this workout by lying flat on your back, and lifting the basket up and down from your chest.

Commercial break exercise 
If you are a couch potato, then commercial break exercise bursts are right for you. When a commercial comes on, get up for a burst of intense exercise. Do some sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, or crunches. Get your heart rate up. When the show comes back, you can go back to it. Continue the cycle throughout your shows.

Rolling chair presses 
If you have an office chair with wheels then you can do some arm workouts right at your desk. Just hold onto the edge of your desk while you are seated in the chair, and use your arm muscles to pull yourself close to the desk, and then push yourself back away. This will work your biceps.

Marching dishes 
Life is busy, so try to multi-task if you don't have time to fit in a proper workout. When you are stuck in front of the sink doing dishes, march in place. You should try to incorporate exercise into your daily tasks whenever possible. 

Want a flat tummy?

Trying to lose weight by adopting a low fat diet? You may be making the biggest mistake of your 'weight loss regime,' say fitness experts. Celebrity trainer James Duigan, whose clients include modelElle Macpherson, says, "It's not fat that makes you fat, it's sugar and carbohydrates." 

Most fitness experts agree. Says sports nutritionist Deepshikha Agarwal, "If you really want toned abs, you need to concentrate on abdominal exercises and team with that with a balanced diet." She suggests fish, chicken and meat, vegetables, berries and nuts, rather than a low-fat diet. "You need a diet rich in anti-oxidants that raises your metabolic rate," she says. "You can't be on a low-fat diet all your life. That's too much deprivation. It might also lead to stress and bingeing," says nutritionist Dr Nupur Krishnan.

Here are some tips one can follow for a flat stomach and toned abs:

Don't overcook your food - you'll kill off or reduce the nutrient content. Try to make sure around 50% of the food on your plate is raw. If you can stomach it, eat all your vegetables raw.

Don't buy cheap meat - Organic meat is more expensive, but it also contains less toxic junk such as antibiotics. If you can afford only one organic thing, make sure it's meat.

Don't eat foods that weaken your abdominal wall , as this will make it slack and lead to a protruding stomach. Foods that can weaken your abdominal wall often contain gluten.

Dr Krishnan debunks the theory that sugar, in all its forms, is bad as it fattens your mid-section. She says, "One tsp sugar gives you 20 calories, and zero gram fat. So two-four tsp every day is okay."

Make sure you have enough fibre . Lack of fibre will lead to inflammation in the bowels. Have plenty of vegetables (ideally raw) and drink at least two litres of still, room temperature water every day.

Experts suggest having the occasional 'cheat' meal, so you can have cake or a brownie and actually help your weight loss. "Feed your soul; you can't live your whole life in denial. And it can actually boost your metabolism and get you leaner the next day. The key is to keep it to one meal," says Duigan. 

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Onion Rings

    • 4 to 6 medium onions
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 egg, slightly beaten
    • 1 cup milk
    • 2 tablespoons salad oil

    • Slice onions ½-inch thick and separate rings.
    • Combine flour, salt, egg, milk, and salad oil and beat until a smooth batter.
    • Coat onion rings with batter.
    • Deep fry, a few at a time, in hot fat (375 degrees F), stirring as needed to separate rings.
    • When onions are a golden brown, remove and drain on paper towels.
    • Sprinkle with salt and serve hot.

Why your body loves fiber — and you should, too

Getting enough fiber each day can do some amazing things for your body. You might not know it, but dietary fiber can help:
  1. Aid weight-loss by making you feel full for longer.
  2. Keep you “regular” and help prevent certain digestive problems.
  3. Lower levels of “bad” cholesterol in your blood.
  4. Manage blood glucose by slowing your absorption of carbohydrates.
  5. Reduce the risk of certain health conditions, including heart disease.


What is fiber?

Fiber is the part of plant-based foods that your body doesn’t digest. There are two types of fiber that offer different benefits to your body.
  1. Soluble fiber dissolves in water. It transforms into a gel-like substance that can slow digestion and absorption — including carbs!
  2. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water. But it helps move food through your digestive system and adds bulk, which helps with regularity.

Looking for fiber? Let us simplify your search.

That slice of brown bread looks like it’s made with whole wheat. And that bowl of cereal loaded with nuggets and little twigs? It’s got to be high in fiber, right? Not necessarily.
Some breads and pastas are brown because of the addition of molasses or food coloring. And some white breads are made with whole grains from a special kind of albino flour, so they don’t look (or taste) high in fiber, but they are. Some cereals with the word “wheat” in the name offer as little as 0.6 gram of fiber per serving, while another box on the same shelf packs five times as much. Here’s how to know you’re making smart fiber choices.

Fabulous fiber finds

For the greatest benefit, mix up your fiber sources. Most fiber-containing foods contain both soluble and insoluble fiber but in different amounts. Variety in your diet will help you cover both kinds. Here are some fabulous finds, ranked by the fiber grams they contain

7 Healthy fruit dessert recipes

How about whipping up some new fruit dessert delights this season? Bid goodbye to the regular way of eating fruits and check out the fresh fruit dessert ideas we have lined up for you. You'll consume much fewer calories while indulging your sweet tooth, while taking in the full health benefits of eating fruits...So here they are - 8 healthy fruit dessert recipes that'll leave you completely satisfied.

Apple spice cake: Preheat oven to 350degrees. Place 4 tbs dark brown sugar, 1/3rd cup fat-free cream cheese, 2 tbs olive oil and 1 tbs vanilla extract in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer and add 2 large eggs. Add 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking soda, half tsp salt and cloves and whisk. Mix all ingredients together. Now add 2 finely chopped red or golden apples. Pour the entire mix into a big baking pan. Bake it at 350degrees for 30 minutes. When done cool on a wire rack and your apple spice cake is ready to be served! 

Fresh fruit kebabs with tangy lemony dip : Take a small bowl and whisk together 4 ounces of sugar-free, low fat lemon yogurt with 1 tbs of lime zest and fresh lime juice. Now take any in-season produce fruits that are readily available. We went for pineapple chunks, kiwi dried and peeled, red grapes and bananas sliced into half inch chunks and threaded them onto the skewer. Serve with fresh lemony dip! Health Me Up tip: In order to prevent food from browning, dip the fruits in your favourite fruit juice. 

Quick baked pears: Peel and cut 2 large pears into half. Remove the seeds using a melon baller which will create a hollow circle in the pears. Place the pears in a glass pie plate. Combine 1 tablespoon of light brown sugar along with 1/4th tablespoon of cinnamon over the pears. Combine half cup of dried cranberries and 1/4th cup of low-fat granola into the hollows of the pears. Cover the dish with wax paper. Cook in microwave for 6 to 8 minutes. Pour low fat frozen yogurt over the glass pie plate and serve this under-200-calories delicacy. 

Grilled Pineapple: For the marinade, combine1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 2 tablespoons dark honey, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Now cut big pineapple chunks, place them in a bowl and add the marinade. Grill the pineapple. Brush with rum. Serve hot or warm, as desired. 

Caramalized bananas: Peel and cut 2 medium small-sized bananas into half lengthwise. Melt around half tablespoon of low fat butter in a non-stick pan over low-medium heat. Add 2 tablespoon of light brown sugar on the top of banana slices. Cook the bananas and add half cup orange juice or dark rum (whatever is available). Add a pinch of cinnamon to it and cook for 1 minute more turning the side of the bananas. Serve right away with a side portion of frozen yogurt.

Double apple crumble : Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Take a large bowl and add 3 large cups of finely sliced apples with 1 tablespoon of apple butter. Arrange the mixture in a baking tray coated with 1/4th tablespoon of olive oil. Now combine 1/4th cup of all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon and 1/8th tablespoon of salt in a medium bowl. Now take 1 tablespoon of chilled butter and brown sugar mixture and add it to the mixture. Pour this mixture over the apple mixture. Bake it at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until light golden brown.

Easy pear crisp: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine half cup uncooked regular oats, 2 tablespoon of all-purpose flour with quarter tablespoon of salt and ground cinnamon and 1/4th cup of firmly packed brown sugar. Do add 1 tablespoon of cold butter to smooth down the mixture. Mix in well. Now add 3 pears juice and 2 tablespoon of lime juice and mix in well. Add the mixture to the baking tray and bake it at 375 degrees for 20 minutes until golden brown. 

Be a pro at baking healthy muffins

Can muffins be healthy? Why not! Today we are talking about two easy and lip-smacking muffin making tips and recipes. If you think that only store-bought muffins can be delicious, and that only 'natural food' stores can sell healthy muffins, then read on. 

Not only are these sour cream muffins and carrot walnut muffins healthy, but they're also quick and simple to bake. All you need is 10 minutes of your time and here's how you can make your muffins healthy at home! 

Whole grain sour cream muffins (Serves 12) 
- 2 cups whole grain flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup fat-free milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dried raisins
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg

- Preheat the oven to 400 degree F. Coat your muffin tray with oil. (Here's a secret- if you want to prepare oil free muffins, simply fill the tray with paper cupcake liners, this way you can ditch the oil).
- Now in a medium bowl mix baking powder, salt, baking soda and sugar. Gently fold in the raisins. Keep it aside.
- In a separate bowl mix the sour cream, oil, egg, milk and vanilla essence. Now fold in the flour mixture and slowly but gradually stir the mixture with light hands. Pour the mixture evenly in the muffin tray.
- Bake for roughly around 12 to 15 minutes. After 15 minutes when you are done, insert a wooden pick in the centre of the muffin, if the pick comes out clean your muffin is ready.
- Leave the muffins on your kitchen slab for 15 minutes at room temperature. Your muffins are ready to be served! 

Carrot- Walnut muffins (Serves 12) 
- Pureed carrots (boil carrots and puree them at home)
- 1 1/2 cups of shredded carrots
- 1/3 cup of honey
- 1 tablespoon of canola oil
- 1 1/4th cup of whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon of baking soda
- 1/2 tablespoon of salt
- 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts
- 1/4 tablespoon of ground cloves
- 1/2 tablespoon of ground ginger

- Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Coat your muffin tray with oil.
- In a bowl, whisk together pureed carrots, eggs, 1 tablespoon of oil and honey. Leave it aside.
- Now in a separate bowl add ginger, salt, cloves, flour and baking soda. Make a small well in the centre of the bowl and pour the carrot mixture. Stir it together just until all the ingredients are blended together.
- Now add the leftover ingredients - walnuts and shredded carrots - to the mixture and stir well.
- Pour the mixture in the tray. Bake them for 20 minutes. Insert a wooden pick in the centre of the muffin, if the pick comes out clean your muffin is ready.
- Leave the muffins on your kitchen slab for 15 minutes at room temperature.
- Optional: If you want you can stir honey and cream cheese in a separate bowl and spread it across all the muffins right before serving them.

Health Me Up's secret tip: When you are preparing muffins, never over mix your batter. Ideally, muffin mixture is supposed to be a little lumpy. It is always advised to bake your muffin right at the middle rack of the oven as it ensures even heat distribution.

Eat to beat the heat

As the mercury continues to soar, you are bound to feel tired, dehydrated and low on energy. Even though it's vacation time, you cannot afford to indulge in rich, fried and junk food. 

Because what you eat plays a major role in how you feel. If you want to seek respite from the unbearable heat this season, make sure you eat the right foods. And by that, we mean foods that have a cooling effect on the body. Doing so will not only fulfil your appetite but also keep your energy -levels high. Here's a list of must-eat foods that are cooling and relaxing for the body:

Watermelons This is the season where watermelons are available in plenty and they are one of best natural cooling foods. That's because they contain almost 80% water, and are naturally sweet and low on calories too. Eating them makes one feel full, without having to worry about putting on weight. Even muskmelons serve the same purpose.

Yogurt Eating yoghurt is one of the best ways to beat the summer heat. Curds contain good bacteria which help in the maintenance of the digestive tract. During the summer, the chances of getting a stomach infection are higher as foods tend to deteriorate faster in the heat. You can have it in the form of buttermilk,
lassi, raita, or fruits mixed with curds.

Yes, you heard us right, and we'll tell you why. Red onions contain a chemical compound called quercetin, which contains anti-histamine properties. Histamine is an irritant that is known to cause heat rashes.

Bananas The body loses a lot of water due to excessive sweating. Bananas are a rich source of potassium and can help regulate fluids in the body. Besides bananas, green leafy vegetables and dried fruits are rich in potassium.

Lose weight the right way

Learning to make the most of your diet is the first step towards losing weight 

You've finally decided that you're going to lose that extra flab. Just going on a diet will not help - the idea is to eat right and at the right time. And remember, just following a healthy diet won't do - you need to ensure that you get the most out of your platter. Here's how...

For starters, eat fresh food or consume it within three hours of cooking. Avoid deep freezing the cooked food. The smaller the number of people the food is prepared for, the better its nutrient level. That's why restaurant food can never be compared to home food. And that's why, instead of picking up salad from your favourite salad bar, you should take a tomato and cucumber with you and eat it as your own on-the-go salad.

Eat the veggies and fruits whole instead of cutting them into pieces, because you lose the vitamins on their surface. The larger the exposed area, the more the loss of nutrients. So eat a full apple, pear or plum, etc, and don't chop it into pieces. If it's a big fruit like a melon or papaya, which you simply have to cut, carve it into big pieces instead of ones that you eat with your fork. Hold the big piece in your hand and chew on it and literally let the juices flow. Messy, but quite satisfying. Also, do not store the cut veggies. Never ever buy cut-and-packed vegetables and fruits that are available in supermarkets. It's like buying food that's gone to rot.

Remain loyal to your genes and eat what you have been eating since childhood. If you are a Punjabi, eat your parantha without feeling guilty; if a Tamilian, eat your idli, dosa etc. For, right from the time you're in your mother's womb, your body is used to eating, digesting and assimilating certain foods - these we call gene food. Most of us now eat foods of all kinds, from across the world. But it's important to eat at least one meal that consists of our gene food.

Also, you must always try to eat local produce and seasonal food as much as possible. Remember, climate, altitude, humidity, wind, soil quality, etc influence our digestive system, hence ayurveda recommends we tweak our diet, habits and lifestyle according to the season. Mangoes are great in summer. Eat them just once a day as a mini meal and they'll give you a season's supply of antioxidants. Store them in your fridge for rains and you won't enjoy them as much; they won't taste half as good and would have lost most of their nutrients. 

Misconceptions about salt

How much salt is too much? Are you among those who won't touch their meals without adding copious amounts of salt? Or do you belong to that category that vehemently refuses to add any salt at all to their diet? Too much salt intake and none at all are both equally harmful. According to Consultant Interventional Cardiologist Dr Vijay Surase, salt is considered by many as an essential part of the human diet. While awareness about the perils of excessive salt intake has increased — with supermarket shelves overflowing with food products, which contain less salt or no salt — the question remains, how important is salt restriction?

"Common salt is composed mainly of sodium and chlorine. Sodium chloride is critical for the maintenance of osmotic balance and other functions. It is true that salt can be dangerous for some people and it is also true that sodium chloride can be obtained from other foods. However, research indicates that approximately 80 per cent of the population will actually benefit from consumption of natural sea salt, which is less refined than common table salt and does not contain added aluminum compounds. Unless you're told specifically by a qualified specialist about limiting or stopping your salt intake, it should not be done so because it can cause terrible weakness, drowsiness, depression, convulsions, and even coma. Even hypertensive patients need not live with this fear about salt. Normal salt intake is fine but excess salt in your diet (consumption of French fries, pickles, papads, chaat masala etc should be avoided," says Dr Surase.

Interventional Cardiologist Dr Shantanu Deshpande says that salt is essential for maintaining homeostasis in our bodies. "The normal requirement is just 500 mg per day. Most Indian diets, however, exceed that limit. Normally excessive salt intake is excreted in the urine. But in almost 50 per cent of individuals, the kidneys are not able to handle this excess of sodium. Excess of salt in your blood stream retains more water resulting in a rise in blood volumes and blood pressure. It also results in hypertrophy of heart and blood vessel musculature resulting in permanent rise in blood pressure. These effects are more pronounced in the elderly and diabetics. Reducing salt intake in your diet reduces blood pressure. A low salt diet containing less than 5 gm of salt per day is recommended for high blood pressure patients who should avoid items like chutneys, cheese, processed food items and junk food.

Senior Interventional Cardiologist Dr Rajiv Bhagwat says that the importance of salt intake in regulation of blood pressure is well established. "Reduction of salt is one of the most important and effective life style modifications to reduce blood pressure. A 2 mm reduction in historic blood pressure reduces stroke mortality by 10 per cent and seven per cent reduction in mortality from coronary diseases. Besides reducing blood pressure, salt reduction also reduces Left Ventricular Sickness (Hyper Trophy), reduces protein loss in urine, reduces osteoporosis and bone mineral loss with age, protects against stomach cancer, asthma and possibly against cataracts as well. Increase your intake of potassium, which is found in plenty in fruits, legumes, nuts and vegetables. Their intake is an effective mean to reduce blood pressure." 

Foods that help sleep better

The meal you choose tonight could mean the difference between counting sheep and getting some serious shut-eye. So order the salmon. 

There are certain nutrients in salmon, as well as in beans, yogurt, and spinach that help you sleep better.

Salmon The healthy fats in this fish (namely docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA for short) may boost levels of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin.

Beans and other legumes provide a nice sampling of B vitamins, including B6, B12, and folic acid, all of which help the body regulate sleep cycles and produce relaxing serotonin. In fact, studies have shown that boosting B vitamins may help people with insomnia.

Low-fat yogurt
Yogurt is a good source of calcium and magnesium – two important sleep-supporting minerals that together help you fall asleep faster and ratchet up your deep-sleep time. And skimping on both may lead to muscle cramps, higher stress levels, and worse sleep.

Dark leafy greens are a great source of iron – a nutrient that may help protect against the sleep robber known as restless legs syndrome. 

5 Foods every woman must eat

Leafy vegetables
It is not possible to meet your nutritional needs without having leafy vegetables in your diet. Spinach, legumes, asparagus, lettuce, fenugreek leaves, broccoli are available in abundance and are huge sources of fibre, Vitamin C and K, folic acid. It is also a vision protector and provides four essential minerals, i.e. calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. Try to have it daily in your diet and darker the better.

Whole grains
Whole grains have up to 96 per cent more fibre and essential nutrients and vitamins than refined grains. Advises diet expert Honey Shah, "I advise my clients to have whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice as they are high in essential nutrients and do not contribute to weight gain. You can start your day with whole wheat cereal or a whole wheat bread toast."

Make nuts an essential ingredient in your diet. Sprinkle it on salads or breakfast cereals or stir them into yoghurt because they are an excellent source of protein, magnesium and B & E vitamins. They are useful in fighting heart disease and cancer. Nuts are high in fat calories, but their fat is the heart-healthy kind. You can also eat them as an evening snack. But make sure you don't overdo them. About a quarter cup or about 15-20 almonds, cashews, walnuts are good enough a week.

Low fat or plain yoghurt is a great source of vitamins, protein and calcium. It also has healthy bacteria which can fight diseases. "Three to four cups a week is good enough for your diet. But make sure you don't add sugar to it. Instead choose plain yoghurt and add fruits or berries to it," suggests dietician Pinky.

Ever wondered why most of the diet fibre products have berries in them? Reason being berries are high in fill-you-up fibre and also helps curb weight. Berries have more protective plant antioxidants than almost any other food. These antioxidants not only lower your disease risks, but also help prevent memory loss. You can have a bowl full of them thrice a week. It could be fresh or frozen, benefits stay! 

Guide to good and bad foods

Healthy lifestyle can be achieved with a suitable combination of exercises and good food habits. 

Instead of following diet plans at random, opt for a scientific yet natural approach towards foods which are healthy for you to eat. The cue lies in the fact that the closer a food is to its natural state, the better it is for you. For instance, l Fresh fruits and berries are great and will satisfy a craving for sweets.

Whole vegetables have lots of vitamins and minerals, so eat more green, orange and yellow vegetables. Steam them to retain the most nutritional value and be careful with sauces, they may be high in calories and fats that aren't good for you.

Avoid sugary snacks and pastries as well. An apple is good for you, an apple pie really isn't, at most times.

Stick to water, milk and 100 per cent fruit and vegetable juices as your main beverages and limit sugary soft drinks. Here's how you can get started by sorting out the unhealthy foods.

Avoid unhealthy foods 
- Battered and deep fried foods
- Sugary sodas
- Processed lunch meats
- Greasy snack chips
- White bread and refined pasta
- Most canned spaghetti and ravioli
- Sugary breakfast cereals

Go for healthy foods 
- Green and brightly coloured vegetables
- Dark leafy greens and lettuce
- Fresh fruits and berries
- Nuts, dried fruits and healthy snacks
- Whole grain and brown breads and pasta
- Healthy cooking oils like canola and olive oils
- Low fat milk or soy beverages
- Nuts, seeds, and legumes.
- Large portions of fresh green foods in your daily meals can go a long way into keeping you fit

Are you feeling fat?

There are days when you have that on-top-of-the world feeling and then there are days when you wish the world to leave you alone. 

There are days when you feel simply fabulous, and then there are days when you feel fat despite not having an extra pound on your body. For women, fat is not just a word denoting the fat deposits in the body. It is a feeling. It is a state of mind, which is why a whole lot of studies have proved that 70% women are never completely happy about their bodies.

So how are you supposed to battle or handle those 'fat' days?

1. Look back in contemplation : Think what you did last night that is promoting this feeling. Did you eat something that has left you feeling too full for comfort? Did you give your workout a miss? Did some incident take place that made you upset? Or are you PMS-ing? Look for the cause. What is making you feel the way you do?

2. Divert your attention : Try to divert your mind from the 'fat' feeling. Focus on your virtues. The things that make you 'you'. Feel good about yourself by focusing on the positive aspects of your life. Remind yourself what a great person you are. Remember and recollect all the flattering compliments people have showered on you.

3. Run, Run, Run : Work up a sweat. Go for a long walk or a jog. Exercising makes you feel good. Now how is that, you may ask? Because hormones called endorphines are released after an exercise session. Basically, endorphines are your body's feel-good hormones since they promote feelings of well-being.

4. Eat : Don't indulge in emotional eating. Staying hungry will only help in cranking you up more than ever. So have fruits, or a toast.

5. Sexy Girl : Although you may sub-consciously steer towards frumpy, shapeless looking clothes, avoid doing so. Instead, wear fitting clothes that flatter your body and figure. However, give those figure-hugging dresses a miss. You can totally do without those on a fat day. Even though you may be feeling down in the dumps, dress up. You never know, people might actually be appreciating your look. And compliments always help on a day like this. 

Monday, 9 May 2011

Shahi Paneer

Shahi Paneer Recipe


  • 1 1/2 Cups Paneer, cut into small cubes
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 1 Green Chili
  • 8 to 10 Cashew Nuts
  • 1 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Kasoori Methi (Dry Fenugreek Leaves)
  • 1 Teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
  • 2 Tablespoon Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 3 Tablespoon Oil
  • 8 Tablespoon Oil (To Fry Paneer)
  • Salt to taste
  • To Garnish
  • 3 Tablespoon Cilantro (Coriander Leaves), Finely chopped

Shahi Paneer is very popular in North India. Paneer with rich and creamy cashew gravy. Shahi paneer is usally served with Roti, Paratha, Naan or Rice.
  1. Heat oil in a frying pan. Fry paneer cubes over medium heat until light brown.
  2. Keep fried paneer pieces aside.
  3. Grind onion, green chili and cashews in to smooth.
  4. Heat 3 tablespoon oil, add onion green chili and cashew paste, cook until oil starts separating.
  5. Add salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder and garam masala. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add milk and kasoori methi bring it to boil. Reduce the heat and cook until the gravy is thick.
  7. Finally add paneer cubes and 2 tablespoon cream. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Garnish shahi paneer with finely chopped cilantro.
  9. Enjoy with Chapati, Paratha or Rice.

    Mutter Paneer

    Mutter Paneer Recipe


    • 1 Cup Paneer, cubed
    • 1 Cup Frozen Green Peas
    • 2 Tablespoon Cashew Nut
    • 1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds
    • 2 Cloves
    • 1 inch piece Cinnamon
    • 1 inch piece Ginger
    • 2 Green Chilies
    • 2 Tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
    • 1 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder
    • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
    • 1 Teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
    • Salt to Taste
    • 1 Teaspoon Sugar
    • 3 Tablespoon Oil / Ghee
    • Oil for Shallow Frying
    • To Garnish:
    • 2 Tablespoon Cilantro (Coriander Leaves), finely chopped
    Mutter Paneer is one of the most popular Indian Vegetarian curry. Paneer and peas cooked together in rich and scrumptious gravy.
    1. Heat oil in frying pan, fry paneer cubes until golden brown.
    2. Soak fried paneer cubes in bowl of water for 10 miutes, drain and keep aside.
    3. In Small bowl soak cashew nut and poppy seeds in 1/4 cup warm water for 30 minutes.
    4. Blend together cashew nuts, poppy seeds, ginger, green chili, tomatoes, clove and cinnamon, into smoothe paste.
    5. Heat non stick pan on medium heat, add oil or ghee.
    6. Add cumin seeds, wait until seeds crackle.
    7. Add cashew and poppy seeds paste cook until oil separates, stirring occasionally.
    8. Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, sugar and salt, mix well.
    9. Add peas with 1/2 cup of water, cook for 5 minutes.
    10. Add Paneer cubes, mix and cook for 5 more minutes or until thick.
    11. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with roti, chappati, paratha or rice.