For the love of Peanut Butter.

For the love of Peanut Butter.


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Did you know that November is the Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month? I had no idea about it until I stumbled upon this really amusing concept that was started back in 1995.

I have always loved Peanut Butter. Actually, I love butter; just the word ‘Butter’ has me drooling, and that’s why I thought of doing this post on Peanut Butter.

So, peanut is actually a legume–and not a nut–which is packed with nutrients like:

 

Protein

Fibre

Vitamin B6

 Vitamin E

Magnesium

Potassium

Zinc

Copper

Iron

Manganese

 

…all packed in the tiny peanut. I read that peanuts also contain reservetrol–the anti-ageing molecule found in grapes, as well as healthy fats that cut cholesterol.

A handful of peanuts a day are enough to avail of the nutrients found in them.

Roasted peanuts are my favourite. And, to add to their nutritional value, I eat a handful of roasted peanuts with some jaggery as a dessert post lunch or dinner. If you haven’t had it ever, do try it out. The combination of peanuts and jaggery is awesome in taste, too!

At times, I fry some peanuts and sprinkle those on the poha that we have for breakfast. This, too, improves not only the taste of the dish, but also its nutritional value.

And, finally, I love peanuts in the butter form the most! Be it the crunchy variety or the creamy, Peanut Butter makes for an excellent snack when spread on a chapati or bread when I suffer from hunger pangs in the middle of the day, or night, or evening, or whenever.

The chapati-Peanut Butter roll/Peanut Butter sandwich is not only filling, but also nutritious. It is reassuring knowing that this snack that I have is not just some junk that I stuff to satisfy my hungry belly, but food that my body benefits from.

Just dipping my finger to scoop out some Peanut Butter from the jar is one of the most satisfying experiences for me!

How about you? Do you like Peanut Butter? Are you a diehard fan? If you are, then wish you, too, a very happy Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month!

Love,

SHILPA…

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The goodness of Peanut Buttter

 

 

 

Pack in those proteins.

Pack in those proteins.


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I remember the tag line of the advert by NECC (National Egg Co-ordination Committee) that said,

Sunday ho ya Monday, roz khao unday!”

Since a long time now, NECC has encouraged us to eat an egg everyday, be it any day of the week. And, they have a good reason to do so.

I had never been an egg-lover and would just eat a boiled egg on some days, or an omelette.

However, with age and wear and tear, I experienced not just exhaustion, but also severe mood swings during PMS. Also, thanks to some really stressful period that I went through, I lost a lot of weight. Lack of sleep, no Yoga, erratic eating schedule had all taken its toll on my body and mind. Everyone could make out the change in me that was really not very appealing.

Instead of going to a nutritionist for some special diet plan that I knew I would never adhere to, I decided to make some changes in my diet and see how that helped.

Begin the day with a proper breakfast:

To begin with, I changed my breakfast. It used to be just a chilled coffee and a banana or some other fruit, and sometimes poha, upma, or omelette and toasted bread.

The new breakfast included a mug of milk with Horlicks, a boiled egg and a banana. And, I divided the breakfast in two parts. The egg-milk-banana is part one and whatever else I prepare for hubby–poha, upma, dosa,idli, sambhar– the second part that I have a couple hours later.

On days I don’t prepare poha/upma, I have a bowlful of yoghurt with a couple of dates, some almonds and walnuts.

Why eggs:

Eggs are a storehouse of nutrients. They consist of more than 10 vital nutrients in the form of vitamins, minerals and a large portion of high-quality proteins that our body needs on an everyday basis.

One boiled egg contains:

Calories: 80

Proteins: 6.3 gm

50% of our daily requirement of B-12

Vitamins A, D, E, folate, iron, zinc and choline.

The proteins present in egg provide you with the energy your body requires at the beginning of the day. A hearty, healthy breakfast ensures ample energy until lunch time to fight the lethargy that arises out of lack of nutrition, as well as an alert and an active mind.

Proteins contain amino acids that are called “the building blocks of proteins”. Proteins help our body to repair, build and strengthen and hence need to be given the importance they so deserve. One of the essential nutrients our body requires, proteins are created in our body with the help of amino acids present in certain foodstuffs. So, it is very necessary that we include as many foods as we can that consist of these magicians called, amino acids.

Proteins not only provide us with energy, but also…

help us fight infections

maintain healthy muscles

repair body tissues and cells, and,

keep nails and hair strong

I began this breakfast in the first week of July (I saved the date in my phone diary) and have been following it religiously for the past three months now.

The difference I noticed in myself:

My mood swings reduced considerably.

I hardly experience any weakness now.

I don’t feel very depressed and low, as I used to feel before I began this new diet.

My body is able to fight infections better (my cold and cough vanished in four days).

My skin feels better than earlier.

These were the main areas I wanted to work on. I haven’t been able to put on much weight, as yet. Proteins will not help me put on weight. But, an increase in energy levels, better concentration and a peaceful mind will suffice.

The irritation and anger that I used to experience prior to my periods has reduced drastically. And, all the credit goes to the egg. Or rather, the new and improved diet plan.

Eating a boiled egg has become a habit. Coffee no more figures in my daily diet. The focus is now on including foodstuffs that supply all the essential nutrients and improve my health. Some weight-gain will be a welcome by-product that will make me appear less like a stick and more like the “khatey-peetey ghar ki” (well-fed). But, until that happens, I am happy feeling good from within than just looking good!

All it needs is to boil an egg first thing in the morning and the most important part of my breakfast is ready!

Do you include eggs in your daily diet? If you don’t, I urge you to begin now. We need those proteins a lot more than we care to know.

Love,

SHILPA…

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Eggs: a storehouse of proteins

Chocolate love.

Chocolate love.

 

SInce the past two days I have craved chocolates…the darker ones…like crazy! May be my ‘chums’ round the corner were the reason behind this sudden increase in my chocolate-craving. But, chums or no chums, chocolates are a girl’s best friends, don’t you agree, girls? One bite and all your bad mood evaporates and you are left smiling, contentedly! What magic lies hidden in there!

Metanoia is a health and wellness blog, but I do like to have fun here, because, well, what’s life without some fun, right? So, although I don’t have a lot many pictures of these dark brown pieces of heaven, I thought of sharing a few good things about chocolates and how they help our health. Basically, I just wish to find more excuses to eat chocolates, that’s all!

How eating chocolate helps:

Dark chocolate contains minerals like iron, potassium, manganese, zinc and phosphorous.

It is loaded with antioxidants like polyphenols, flavanols, catechins, etc. Antioxidants protect the skin from the damaging effects of free radicals and reduce the signs of ageing.

The flavanols in dark chocolates improve the blood flow and help lower blood pressure.

Dark chocolate (may) increase blood flow to the brain and improve brain function.

Dark chocolate also helps reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL).

And, finally, it helps beat stress and improves your mood, instantly.

I Googled the above information because, well, Google ji is Mr. Know-all! But, the one thing I do know, is anything in moderation is good for our health, chocolates, included. And, the darker the variety, the better, because it has more of cocoa (70% and above) and less of sugar. And, sugar, as you all are well aware, is the number one enemy of our health.

Yes, developing a taste for the bitter chocolates can take time, so all you need to do, is eat more of it, little by little, and soon you will be in love with it! A little practice is all it takes.  And, if it doesn’t appeal to you, then, well, I am here…you can courier it to me. I am very helpful like that, you see!?

Of course, dark chocolates are number one on my list of favourites, but I also love white chocolates, too. The milkiness of these just makes me go weak in the knees. Gosh, I am salivating even as I type these words! And, to share a little secret, my passion for chocolates is such, my lip balm is chocolate flavour as is my body lotion!

How about you? Did you drool while reading it? If you did, we are friends, already! If you did not, you really need to go, have a bite of this heavenly, healthy food and then let me know how you felt.

Until then…

Love,

SHILPA…

HAving a little chocolate will not only keep your taste buds happy, but your heart, too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 super foods that help lower cholesterol.

10 super foods that help lower cholesterol.

Cholesterol  entered my world some years ago while I was researching healthcare necessary after the age of 35. A blood test (Lipid profile) would tell us if our cholesterol levels were good, bad or ugly. Suffice to say, the picture was rather ugly (for hubby), and we had to quickly get into battle mode to fight this enemy.

So, what is this cholesterol and is it really as bad as we think it is?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in every cell of our body.

Our body makes the cholesterol that we need. And, it does have a role to play: Our body requires cholesterol to make hormones, Vitamin D and substances that help digest our food. 

Cholesterol comes from our liver and our diet. 

There are two types of cholesterols carried by different types of lipoproteins: LDL, or the Low Density Lipoproteins which is the BAD Cholesterol and HDL, or the High Density Lipoproteins, which is the GOOD Cholesterol.

High levels of LDL can clog the arteries and cause heart disease.

Source: Wikipedia

 

Unlike fat, cholesterol cannot be burned by your body through sweating while exercising etc. So, to avoid excess accumulation of cholesterol in the body, you  need to watch your diet. Your doctor will prescribe medicines to bring down the cholesterol levels, or the LDL levels. The drugs usually prescribed are STATINS. These lower the triglycerides (another type of blood fat) and also raise the HDL levels.

However, Statins do have side-effects like high blood sugar, muscle inflammation and intestinal problems. So, while it is advisable to take the prescribed drugs to bring down the levels of cholesterol, it is better to take a good look at your diet to do the same. That is a much preferred mode of bringing down the LDL levels. Along with exercise, of course!

Exercise on a REGULAR BASIS is a must  if you wish to see any positive results. We do begin working out with great enthusiasm, but seldom do we all stick to the routine and in a matter of days we fall off the track and go back to our old habits, don’t we?

We also need to take care of what we eat. We keep reading about the need to watch our diet and make exercise a part of our daily routine, so, what’s new, you might ask. Well, the fact that not all of us stick to our diets and our exercise which results in raised levels of LDL that cause more trauma to your arteries and consequently to your heart, much more than you think.

There are foods that help bring down the LDL levels. Foods that, if we make them a part of our daily diet, are sure to help us in the long run as well as get off the drugs. So, sharing with you all today, 10 of the super foods available locally and which help reduce the bad cholesterol.

First off, though, you need to consciously stay away from deep fried stuff like certain Indian snacks (samosa, batata wada, bhajiya) and include healthy foods which I will mention below. Trans fats found in vanaspati, are the number 1 culprit that cause the LDL to shoot up. So, keep that out of your kitchens, and switch to desi ghee, or clarified butter, which is heart-friendly.

 

FOODS THAT HELP LOWER CHOLESTEROL:

Methi: I shared a post on Methi some time ago, where I wrote about the benefits of including sprouted methi , or fenugreek seeds. Fenugreek seeds help lower LDL as well as blood sugar levels if consumed on a daily basis. So, sprout some methi seeds, place them in an air tight container, in the refrigerator, and have a teaspoon of these sprouted methi seeds first thing in the morning.

Tomatoes: Rich in lycopene, tomatoes help detoxify the body and reduce the risk of heart disease by helping lower cholesterol levels. Add these to your salads, have these through soups and along with veggies, or juice them up and gulp them down!

Fatty fish: Now, this is good news for sea food lovers, isn’t it? Fish contain Omega 3 fatty acids which help bring down the level of triglycerides and simultaneously raise the HDL levels.

Garlic: Years ago, dad used to chew garlic cloves. I tried it, too, but the pungent flavour put me off it. It’s only after I grew up that I learned how beneficial garlic  is to the heart. The anti-oxidant properties of garlic help lower cholesterol levels, provided it is consumed raw, or semi-cooked. So, despite the bad breathe it gives, just chomp on a garlic clove. You can always use a mouthwash to drive away the smell!

Ragi:  Ragi, or finger millets, contain amino acids which help get rid of excess fat from the liver and bring down cholesterol levels. It also helps reducing blood sugar levels. Eating rotis (Indian Flat Bread) made out of ragi flour instead of wheat, will definitely help you in your fight against cholesterol. Ragi rotis are the most preferred rotis at my home and take lesser time to prepare!

Ladies finger: Ladies finger not only helps bring down cholesterol but also helps reduce your blood sugar levels thanks to its soluble fibre content. Slit a couple of ladies fingers and place them in a glass of water at night. Drink the water the next morning. Or, eat more ladies finger sabji! Either ways, it helps.

Nuts: Nuts, especially, walnuts and almonds help reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise the good cholesterol (HDL). Have a whole walnut daily and a few almonds, too, along with your breakfast.

Apples: Apples contain the same soluble fibre that you find in ladies fingers, which helps lower bad cholesterol. So, it isn’t for no reason that we have been taught that an apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Oranges: Including foods rich in soluble fibre helps reduce cholesterol. And, oranges are rich in soluble fibre, apart from vitamin C.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is known to lower blood cholesterol levels significantly. Add a teaspoon  of cinnamon powder to your cup of tea while it boils. A teaspoonful of this powder is more than enough to do the trick, provided consumed on a daily basis. Grind the cinnamon and keep the powder next to your tea and sugar containers. That way you will be reminded to add it to your morning cuppa.

 

I have included those foodstuffs that are grown locally. Foods such as oats, or avocados, although available, aren’t locally cultivated. Eating foods grown locally makes a lot of difference to your health.  The reason being that these foods are picked as soon as they ripen and are packed and sold immediately, thereby keeping their nutrition intact.

So, that’s it from me today. Do share with me any other tips you may have for reducing cholesterol. I would love to know all about it!

Love,

SHILPA…

 

P.S.

I have been including almost all of the above in hubby’s diet since a long time now and his cholesterol levels have come down significantly. He stopped taking the drugs he was prescribed for cholesterol and depends more on the diet to control the LDL levels. Now, all he needs to do, is get back on that bicycle! I know he will. It’s just a matter of some time.

SHILPA..

 

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Fight Cholesterol the easy way

 

 

 

 

Mother’s recipe. #FlavoursomeTuesday.

Mother’s recipe. #FlavoursomeTuesday.

Mothers are special. What an understatement, no? But, really, everything they do has a magical quality to it that makes Life beautiful.  Whatever it may be–an outfit gifted by her, or a story narrated  during childhood; a perfume she uses and has gifted it to you, or even a recipe she secretly shared with you–each one of these, and everything else, has her love stamped all over it, the beauty of which stays with you, forever.

Sharing today, for FlavoursomeTuesday, a chutney recipe that has been mum’s speciality. It’s really a very easy one to prepare, doesn’t need a lot of prepping, but adds the necessary flavour to anything you have along with it. Yes, even the simple dal-chawal gets enhanced when you mix this chutney with it.

THE PUMPKIN PEEL, CRISPY CHUTNEY

Each time mum buys pumpkin to prepare the sabji , she prepares this chutney. She has always been against discarding the peel of vegetables.

Everything that nature has gifted us is useful. All you need to do is use your creativity, she says.

So, the next time you bring home the pumpkin, just grate the skin, or slice it off and keep it aside for the chutney.

 

FlavoursomeTuesdays

Ingredients:

Pumpkin peel – grated or sliced off and chopped fine

Dry coconut – grated – a small bowl

Garlic – 3 to 4 cloves, or more, if you love garlic.

Green chillies – 1 or 2, as per taste

White sesame seeds – 1 tsp.

Salt – to taste

Oil – 1 tbsp

 

Method:

After washing the pumpkin, grate to remove the peel, or slice if off and then chop it finely. Place the grated peel on a tissue and leave it to dry thoroughly.

Grate dried coconut, finely chop the garlic and the chillies.

In a pan, add a spoonful of oil and roast the sesame seeds till light brown. Then, add the chopped garlic and roast till brown. Add the finely chopped green chillies, grated pumpkin peel, and grated dried coconut. Roast all on low flame till it’s nice and brown.

Add salt to taste.

Take it off the gas. Once cool, store it in an air-tight jar. It stays well at room temperature for a few days. Actually, it won’t last for more than a day–the taste is that heavenly!

You can enjoy it with dal and rice, or anything that feels bland. The flavour of the garlic and the chillies grandly arouses the taste buds, so, most of the time it gets devoured straight from the jar!

So, wasn’t that an easy-peasy recipe? I like sharing as well as preparing such easy recipes that hardly require any time or effort. Well, I like things simple!

Do try out this chutney and let me know how you like it.

Love,

SHILPA..

 

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Pumpkin peel, crispy chutney

 

FlavoursomeTuesdays

Welcome to #FlavoursomeTuesday! Are you ready with your foodie posts? Or, is it your first time here? Relax, and, put on your thinking cap! Can you remember your first time in the kitchen? Or, perhaps, a recipe prepared by your mum or grandmum, or aunt, or even dad, that is your all-time favourite? Or, maybe, a memorable restaurant visit?  Or, anything else  revolving around food?

All you need to do is share it on your blog. Attach this cool badge to your post and share it on the social media platforms you frequent. That’s all! 

My friend, Sunita Rajwade, is the brains behind FlavoursomeTuesdays. We host this Linky every 1st Tuesday of the month. Do add your URL to the Linky below, visit others and share the love!

Bon Appetit!