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  • Baked Chakali

    In Health Tips On 06 November 2018

    भाजणी साहित्य: (35-40 चकल्या) 4 वाट्या तांदूळ ( जाड चालतो) 2 वाट्या चना डाळ 1वाटी उडिद डाळ  अर्धी वाटी मुगडाळ अर्धा/पाऊण वाटी पोहे (जाड) अर्धी वाटी धने पाव वाटी जीरे इतर साहित्य: तीळ 2 चमचे तिखट चवीनुसार  मीठ चवीनुसार  हिंग 1/4 चमचा  तेल 1 वाटी  कृती: डाळी व तांदूळ वेगवेगळे धुवून कापडावर पसरवून नंतर वेगवेगळे भाजून घ्यावे.  धने ,जीरे,पोहे पण बेताचेच  भाजून घ्यावे. यानंतर हे मिश्रण दळून आणावे. (मी मिक्सरमध्ये बारीक करून चाळून घेतले). आता आपली चकल्यांची भाजणी तयार.. (भाजणी Recipe credit : माझी आई  ) चकलीच्या भाजणीत तीळ,तिखट,मीठ हिंग आणि कडकडीत तेल टाकून चांगले एकजीव करून घ्यावे आणि  लागेल तसे पाणी घालून पीठ भिजवावे. पिठ फार सैल मळू नये. (घट्ट गोळ्याच्या चकल्या छान काटेरी होतात.) सोर्याला तेल लावून त्यात वरील तयार गोळा भरावा.  बेकिंग ट्रेवर 1 चमचा तेल टाकून ग्रीस करून घ्यावे. त्या ट्रेमध्ये चकल्या पाडून घ्याव्या. प्रिहीटेड ओवनमध्ये 170°से. ला 15 मिनिटे बेक करून, दूसर्या बाजूने पलटून पुन्हा 15 मिनिटे बेक करावे.   गार झाल्यावर सर्व्ह करावे  टिप:  तळलेल्या चकलीप्रमाणे बेक्ड चकल्या खुसखुशीत होत नाही...थोड्या कडक होतात. चवीत काही फरक नाही.. आणि तळलेलं न खालल्याचं समाधान देतात.                                   

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  • Navaratri Special Dietary Guidelines

    In Health Tips On 10 October 2018

      This year the auspicious festival of Navaratri starts today on 10th October and will continue till 18th October. Festive celebration take different forms like puja, dandiya etc. Like most Indian festivals, this is a celebration with colourful clothes, music, dance etc. Many people fast for these 9 days of the festival for religious reasons. Some eat foods that are (religiously) allowed during the fast. But they end up eating starchy, high fat & heavy to digest foods consistently for 9 days. This leads to Acidity, Heart burns & indigestion, etc. Some people eat raw foods or even liquids which turns out to be a very low calorie diet. They get fatigue, tiredness & feel lethargic. Some people think intentionally opportunistic like "I am anyway going to keep fast for 9 days, so why not go on 'fruit diet' or 'raw foods diet' and lose weight?" And they lose weight with these 'crash Diets' during festive seasons. But as this cannot be a long term diet, the results are not sustainable.  It must be carved in our minds that the purpose of these fasts is not to starve oneself, but to give rest to one's digestive tract. Once can notice that spicy food, pungent flavors like onions and garlic etc are forbidden during these days.   Let us keep aside all diet related confusions for these days & talk about the healthy diet. Healthy food choices: Fruits, veggies like pumpkin, sweet potato, potato, cucumber etc., Dryfuits & nuts like almonds, walnuts, black raisins, dried figs, dates & peanuts etc., Milk (Cow's) & other milk products like curd, buttermilk buttermilk (ताक/ छाछ), paneer etc., Rajgira and Bhagar (in Marathi भगर / वरीचा तांदूळ, in Hindi व्रत के चावल)  Tips one should not forget: 1. Avoid fried foods. 2. Avoid sago (साबूदाना). 3. Instead of oil, use homemade cow's ghee (It is easy to digest compared to oils as it contains MCT). One can also use cold pressed Groundnut oil in limited portions. 4. Have 5-6 small frequent meals throughout the day. Avoid long gaps (more than 4 hours) between 2 meals. Not eating anything throughout the day is unhealthy. It leads to starvation & excessive muscle loss. 5. Stay hydrated. Drink 2-3 lit water per day. 6. Avoid sweet preparations, fruit juices, khoa. Replace sugar with jaggary (गुड़/) or honey. 7. Avoid excess consumption of tea or coffee. (Not more than 2 cups per day- 1 cup =  125 ml). Instead go for green tea. 8. Portion control is a key. 9. Moderate intensity exercise is allowed during these days. Healthy Diet can have: 1. 3-4 servings of fruits & veggies per day. 2. Handful of nuts & dryfruits per day. 3. 2-3 liters of water per day. One can add beverages in daily diet like: green tea, buttermilk (ताक/ छाछ), nimbu pani, milk etc. 4. 2-3 portions of Rajgira or Bhagar per day. 5. Groundnut oil or Ghee 2-3 tsp/day. (Measure melted ghee).

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  • Shravan - Health Tips

    In Health Tips On 22 August 2018

    Tips to gain health during Shravan: Shravan Maas, a holy month in Hindu calendar, usually comes somewhere between early August to mid September. In this month, the weather in India is humid, cloudy & moist. Hence, the chances of infections are high. Because of such a weather, the risk of indigestion and food borne infections are high. It is also said that digestion is slower/ sluggish during this season. Hence, it is advised to avoid non-vegetarian food, onion & garlic during this month. There are many people who fast during this holy month once or twice a week. The aim of these fasts is to bring good health, reduce the stress on your digestive system by giving it a periodic rest from digesting high calorie & fat food and minimize the risk of indigestion & food borne infections. But usually, people end up eating high carbohydrate (that too mostly starchy foods), high fat, fried foods during the fasts, thus leading to increased load on digestive system. This is exactly opposite of what we aim to achieve. Many people complain of acidity, heartburns & indigestion post fasting. Let's achieve good health this Shravan & enjoy weather with good health. Tips for healthy fast: Make healthy food choices. They can be variety of fruits (no juices), cucumber, Bhagar / Jungle Rice (in Marathi भगर / वरीचा तांदूळ, in hindi व्रत के चावल / मोरधन), dryfruits, nuts , milk & other dairy products (curd, buttermilk, clarified butter- तूप / घी), boiled potato, Amaranth (राजगिरा) etc. Avoid staying without food for the whole day as it sends signal of starvation to your brain leading to reduced metabolic rate (calorie burning capasity). This can also lead to overeating at dinner. Use homemade cow's ghee for cooking. (It is easy to digest compared to oils as it contains MCT) Avoid fried foods and sago (साबूदाना). Portion control is the key. Do not skip exercise. Drink adequate water to stay hydrated. Have normal dinner . Do not overeat. One can aim for a detox plan once in this month. (Frequent detox can destroy healthy GI microflora). Visit a qualified dietitians for a detox diet plan. Tips to increase protein intake: Many people avoid eating meat & eggs during this holy month. Because of that, their concerns are about meeting daily protein needs. Here is a good news for you…  You can meet your daily protein  requirements with vegetarian food sources. People who have vegetarian lifestyle can also follow these tips for daily meals. Include daal, pulses, sprouts etc. in daily diet. Include dairy products like cow's milk, curd, paneer, buttermilk (ताक) etc. in the daily diet. Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, etc. can be added to daily meals to increase proteins in diet. We can use dryfruits or dryfruit powders, peanut powder, sprouts, paneer cubes, tofu cubes or boiled rajma, chhole etc. in salad dressings. We can add soaked daals, besan, groundnut powder or sesame seeds to vegetables to increase proteins. Points to remember : Portion control is a key. One must remember to have these foods in recommended portion size. Excess calories in any form (carbohydrates, proteins or fats) can lead to increased fat deposits & weight gain. Avoid supplements as long as it is not clinically required or recommended by your Doctor / qualified dietitian. One must incorporate Vit C & B complex rich foods in diet to enhance protein absorption. Exercise is must for utilization of proteins & increase lean (muscle) weight. People with kidney problems or high uric acid should avoid having high protein foods on your own. Please consult a qualified dietitian. People with Thyroid problems & PCOS should consult qualified dietitian before starting soya products & some goitrogenic  foods that are high protein.  

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  • Why am I not losing weight?

    In Health Tips On 18 July 2018

    Lately, with increased awareness about health and diet, we are being bombarded by health tips. Some come from family, some from friends, some from social media and some from diet quacks. As a layman, it is natural to try to follow all of them at the same time. Generally speaking, most of them (rightly so) focus on the importance of healthy diet, regular exercise and avoiding junk food. We often come across many people (or sometime, we ourselves too experience this) who whine, "I exercise regularly, eat healthy food, do not eat junk food but I still am not losing weight". It is important to note that there can be multiple hidden factors that are pulling you back or giving slow results or, in some cases, not giving any results at all. Together, let's decode these factors: 1. Balance in meals: It is very good that you identified the need of switching to healthy meal habits. Kudos !!!  Here, you have won the first step of the battle. It is really important to skip junk food & switch to homemade food and / or healthy food. But in addition to that, while planning your diet, we dietitians / nutritionists see to the ratio of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins & fats) in your daily diet. We even take care of the factors like choosing complex carbohydrates over simple, meeting the protein needs, selecting healthy fats (and not running away from fats - they are not our enemies). We know the importance of different micronutrients (vitamins & minerals) in the weight loss journey. From dieticians' perspective, meeting their requirements is equally important. 2.  Gap between two meals: Usually, people tend to neglect this factor. But meal gap significantly affects weight loss. Longer gaps between two meals (i.e. eating only one meal or two meals a day & not eating throughout the day or skipping meals to reduce calorie intake) sends signals of starvation to the brain, leading to reduced metabolic rate. Few people do exactly opposite of that. They eat very small frequent meals. But munching in a bite or two every now & then can increase Insulin resistance making the weight loss difficult ('they' say that it is to prevent overeating). This also increases risk of Diabetes. A qualified dietitian does not run behind such timely trends. While planning your diet, they consider these factors. 3. Eating meals that are far different from one's traditional / cultural meals or the meals that are not sustainable There are so many 'crash diet' trends available in the fitness industry. They are cast out of the same mould for everyone. Each & every individual is different (even two people from one family are not same). The aspects of differences are many, to name a few, physical, cultural, climatic etc. Therefore, these diets do not suit everyone. And if they are far different from one's cultural & traditional meal pattern or not suitable for the climatic conditions of the place of one's residence, these diets cannot be followed for long run. Hence, the results achieved (if any) are also not sustainable.  4. Social inconvenience in meal choice We love sharing mealtime with friends & family. And when you are on some strict dietary restriction (I actually want to say 'some weird fancy crash diet'), it becomes socially inconvenient or difficult for you to follow these restrictions. Imagine that your friends / family members are eating your favorite dish, which is not a part of your 'fancy diet plan' or these are your fasting hours. In this situation, you are left with no option than to stare at their dishes. Or, you can concede defeat to your temptation and fail at your diet plan and feel guilty. 5. Track what you are losing, fats or muscles? Skipping meals, following crash diets / liquid diets, taking some magic(???) shakes instead of meals are some trends lately. They are popular because they give results. It is quite obvious. Low calorie intake leads to weight loss. But is that a healthy weight loss? What are you losing? fats or muscles? The answer, here, is 'muscles'. Yes, you are losing your precious muscle weight. And when you lose your body muscle weight, it leads to reduced metabolic rate. Secondly, your muscles hold your skeleton in place. If your muscles are weak, they cannot provide support to your skeleton. The least that can happen is body posture changes & sagged skin.   6. Exercise We can not only focus on calorie intake. We need to consider the expenditure as well. The simple logic is: Intake < expenditure leads to weight loss. However, it's a mistake to just keep on reducing the intake. Calorie expenditure also needs to be increased by increasing physical activity. For this, the key is consistency in appropriate intensity of exercise for sufficient duration. Exercise also helps us accelerate our metabolic rate. Hence, regular physical activity is mandatory to reduce weight. 7. Clinical factors There are many other clinical factors such as Hormonal imbalance (like PCOS, Thyroid etc.), chronic diseases (like Diabetes, Heart diseases, High BP etc.) which can lower the rate of weight loss. In such cases, our first aim should be to get these clinical factors under control & weight loss goes hand in hand. We just cannot focus on one factor & neglect the other. If your health adviser is only focusing on the numbers on the weighing scale, think twice before following those fancy diets. I am sure that you do not want to end up in additional health issues.    8. Consistency: Last but not the least; consistency is the key to stay fit & healthy. For that, one must accept healthy lifestyle. Anything that is temporary (let that be a diet or activity) doesn't give sustainable results. Before following any diet or lifestyle change, ask yourself a few questions: Can I follow it for long run or is it a temporary change? Can I merge this change in my routine / culture etc. making it sustainable? 9. Is the weight loss achieved sustainable? The answer lies in all the points discussed above. If you do not meet daily requirements of macronutrients and lose muscle weight instead, this leads to reduced metabolic rate (calorie burning capacity). And if the diet you are following is not going to sustain for long run (far different from your traditional diet), when you switch back to your traditional meals, weight bounces back rapidly. And in most of the cases, you gain more weight than what you had lost. Whoa!!! It sounds too much after reading. How can I do it?? It's simple.... just visit a qualified dietitian and let them (him / her) handle it. They will give you a tailor-made diet chart that is for 'YOU'. Choose your dietitian wisely. And most importantly, just stay consistent & believe in yourself. You CAN do it.

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  • Quick snack recipes for toddlers

    In Health Tips On 11 July 2018

    When you have a toddler at home, it is a big challenge for parents in all aspects. I take it positively. The more they challenge you, the more they are challenging their own cognitive system. They can remember things very well, even the names of their favorite foods. Therefore, making their food choices is a real challenge. They remember what they had had, when you were on a vacation two weeks ago & they start demanding the specific food at home or when you pass by restaurant / similar food outlet chain. They even remember the cabinet where you keep their favorite food items in the kitchen. One moment they are playing & suddenly they come to you & demand something. (And let me tell you, most of the times it is something that you do not want to give them frequently like Chocolate or chips etc. OR it is not a right time for that food for example, when you are preparing lunch, they'll ask for their favorite snack). The same thing happened yesterday. While I was in my kitchen, thinking about evening snack for my two years old, and he came and said, " आई...भूक लागली .. चॉकलेट दे" (Mom, I am hungry, give me a chocolate)  ... (Recently, we had vacations in Switzerland & Belgium and he remembers it very well that we have chocolates at home  ) OMG... Now what .... what to do..???? I do not want to give him a chocolate..  ...IDEA...   THAT is what I am going to share with you. A quick recipe of what I did then....  [I even carry this with me while shopping or on a day trip. You never know when and where these kids will demand something to munch in.] Recipe 1-  Groundnut Laddu - a super-quick recipe    Ingredients (for two small laddus) Roasted groundnut powder - 2 tablespoons Grated jaggery (गूळ/गुड़) - 1 teaspoon Ghee - Half teaspoon or as needed (If jaggery is soft, even less ghee would suffice to ensure homogeneity of the mixture) Cardamom powder- 1 pinch Procedure: Mix the above ingredients to form a homogeneous mixture and make laddus (a size of a chocolate ball). For added benefits, you can even add dry-fruit powder to the mixture. Really a simple and quick recipe... right??? It can come handy when you have a lot to do, but have no time for a fancy recipe. I know they are not chocolates & your kiddo knows it very well. But you can always tell them "We do not have chocolates, but I made laddu for you. They are your favorite ones." If your kiddo loves laddu (most of the kids do), this trick will definitely work. They are healthy power packs of nutrients for your toddlers. Note: Store them at cool dry place in an air-tight container or in a refrigerator to store for longer period (and to prevent them from getting rancid). Nutritional benefits: Power pack of nutrients & energy No refined sugar Source of protein, iron & trace minerals Recipe 2 - Dry-fruit Laddu or Rolls Ingredients: (for 8-10 rolls) 1 cup seedless dates (I am taking a 100 ml measuring cup) 1/2 cup mixture of your favorite dry-fruits like almond, cashew nut, walnuts etc. (roughly chopped. If you are giving these to your toddlers- make it into a powder)   2  teaspoons ghee 1 pinch cardamom powder Procedure: Take one and a half teaspoon ghee in a non-stick pan. Add seedless dates & roast them till they are soft. Add the dry-fruits & cardamom powder & immediately turn off the heat. Mix the ingredients well. Take the mixture in a plate. Let it cool down for some time. When it is warm (the temperature you can handle to make laddus with your hands - but make sure that it is not completely cold) make laddus or rolls. OR you can even make it into burfis - just grease the plate / tray with ghee & remove the mixture from the pan to a plate. Spread it evenly in the plate with the help of spatula when hot. When warm, cut into square pieces & cool it down. Note: Store them at a cool dry place in an air-tight container or in a refrigerator to store for longer period (to prevent them from getting rancid). Remember that when you keep them in a refrigerator, they can get chewy, hence won't be a good option for toddlers. Nutritional benefits: Power pack of nutrients & energy No added sugar Source of iron, protein, vitamins & trace minerals   Both these the recipes are really good options (even for adults) as an 'on the go' snack, when you are away from home. You can store both these preparations at room temperature for 8-10 days in an air-tight container & cool dry place (not in really hot summer days). This long shelf life makes it a really good option even when travelling.    

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  • Dietitian's Confession

    In General  On 10 June 2018

    ' Yes, I am a proud 'Home-Science' degree holder. Yes, I am a proud dietitian'. We are not letting our clients 'starve'. We bring 'balance' in their life. We help them lead a healthy life. Visit a 'Qualified dietitian' once & you'll know it.   Every career has a story. All these stories have all shades of hard work, stress, satisfaction, happiness, etc. Some are planned & some happen accidently. Some are smoothly running, some have breaks while some contains ups and downs. But all these experiences make you stronger. It is too soon to speak about my career path. But this field helps me relate to my day-to-day life. I would like to share this experience with you all.     I am a Dietitian & Nutritionist. I chose 'Food' as my career. I am a foodie. I enjoy different cuisines, not just eating but I cook, experiment with my food & I am always ready to learn new recipes. Hence, I chose 'Food' as my career.. Yes this is a field about 'Food', about 'Nutrition' & not starvation. Hence I said.. 'I chose 'Food' as my career. We can express emotions through food. It can be care, happiness, love, affection, romance, etc.      This is  the story of beginning of my career, about my experiences, about opinions of different people about this profession. When I was in high school, I decided to become a dietitian and took admission in a Home Science College. Back then, in India, people were not much aware about the field of 'dietetics'. So when I used to tell people about my college, the reaction was "Oh...why Home Science? Don't you want to make a 'career'? Why do you want to go to a college to learn things useful for a home or family? Learn it from your mother." When I replied I was doing 'dietetics', they were like "Ohh....from now on, we'll eat a full meal before coming to your home....what will you give us to eat...all 'ghaas-phoos', no oil, no ghee, no sugar" etc. Initially, these reactions used to make me nervous, but later on, I got used to it and started turning a deaf ear to these comments. I am sure all dietitians would agree with me on this. As time passed by, I completed my graduation, post graduation and started working for different institutes to gain practical experience & polish my theoretical knowledge . I was a typical fresher; always 'on my toes' to learn new things; applying my knowledge in day-to-day life. In early days of my career, in a typical call from my mother at 2.00 PM on a workday, she used to scold me, "No lunch yet? What is this? You take care of your patients' diets, their meal times and all. What about your meal time? Go and have your lunch first." This phase also passed by...faster than I thought.... and I got married. This was the time when I temporarily stopped applying my dietetics knowledge in my daily life. All this 'nutrition' knowledge remained at professional level only. Like any other newly married girl interested in cooking, I starting exploring my 'master-chef' skill. Thanks to my dear husband for enjoying all my successful recipes and tolerating all the failed ones. After few years, with the glimpse of motherhood, like any new mother, I wanted to do the best for my baby. Baby's health depends on mother's nutritional status during pregnancy. In this phase, my knowledge was of great help. My awareness for my diet, physical activity, etc. kept on increasing. Let it be morning sickness, food cravings, mid-night hunger; I was able to keep a balance in everything and  enjoyed food during pregnancy. After the birth of my baby; for breastfeeding, weaning foods, introducing solid foods & even bringing my own weight down, my knowledge was of great help. But I must tell you, the biggest challenge is to make your toddler eat veggies & fruits. They are so picky eaters... (If your toddler eats everything, you are the luckiest parent in the universe). But I am not nagging. I am enjoying this phase as well, to the fullest. With the help of my nutritional knowledge & post marriage polished 'master chef" skills, I experiment with different recipes to make my toddler enjoy his meals. All these efforts give so much satisfaction, when  he eats & grows well. I know, day by day, this challenge is going to be bigger with him going to  school, making friends & all the media exposure (we are all surrounded by the media.. you can limit it but can't avoid it). But I know, I will come up with solutions. All these life challenges make me stronger & grow as a better dietitian. And at the end of the day, when I look back, I feel so proud of the fact that I studied 'Home Science' & 'Masters in Dietetics'. My degrees are not limited to my office desk. My degrees are helping me take care of my family  as well as earn money. I do not leave my knowledge & work in between the walls of my office. I bring it back home, but in my case, it makes my family happy. ' Yes, I am a proud 'Home-Science' degree holder. Yes, I am a proud dietitian'. We are not letting our clients 'starve'. We bring 'balance' in their life. We help them lead a healthy life. Visit a 'Qualified dietitian' once & you'll know it.

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Manasi Joshi

Dietitian & Diabetes Educator, Netherlands 

A foodie dietitian Manasi, always aims at finding a golden mean of health & pleasing taste buds. She advocates indigenous & seasonal food habits and natural ways to optimize lifestyle. She is against crash diets, meal replacers, skipping meals etc.
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