Are you lactose intolerant?

Are you lactose intolerant?


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Do you remember, as kids, being coaxed to drink up that tall glass of warm milk every morning and evening? I know, some of you couldn’t even tolerate it and so emptied the glass in the flower pot or the sink, right?  The smell and the taste can be off-putting, so I can understand.

But, there’s a reason why our parents wanted us to drink that glass of milk, you know?

Milk is a COMPLETE FOOD as it consists of every such nutrient that we humans need.

 

We have heard it since the time we were kids about how drinking milk will give us strong teeth and healthy bones as it is rich in Calcium.

But, apart from that, it also helps keep the heart healthy and the blood pressure under control.

Milk fortified with Vitamin D helps us sleep well and helps produce serotonin–our  ‘good mood’ hormone–which could keep depression away. Now, this is an information my doctor provided.  He said that a lack of Vitamin D results in all of the PMS related feelings like mood-swings, irritability, depression, fatigue, etc, that, if not taken care of, can only worsen with time.

And, yet, so many of us find it unbearable to even bring a glass of milk close to our nose! Well, if the smell puts you off, you could always add a spoonful of some nutritional powder, like Horlicks, Boost, Complan, or even almond/cardamom powder–there’s a wide choice of nutritional drinks available in the market. Choose the one that you like.

If hot/warm milk gives you nausea or gas, try chilled milk. I love chilled milk. I add a spoonful of Horlicks to it and have it for my breakfast.  My last post was on coughs and cures, where I failed to mention that my cough usually gets cured by a glass of chilled milk, instead of the usually prescribed warm haldi wala doodh (milk with turmeric)!

Lactose intolerance and food options:

When the body cannot digest the lactose present in the milk, it makes you lactose intolerant. One could suffer from nausea, vomiting, gas or diarrhoea and, hence, stay away from milk, altogether.

However, if not milk, then you can surely have other milk products such as curd or yoghurt, buttermilk, cheese, cottage cheese or paneer, ghee, butter and milk which is lactose-free.

Other alternatives are soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk.

Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach contain calcium as does Amaranth. Chia seeds, beans, lentils and tofu are other foods that also contain calcium in good quantities.

Milk products for the lactose intolerant:

Curd contains high amount of proteins making it a highly nutritional food. Add some fruits of your choice, some dates and other dry fruits and honey and you have a delicious and healthy bowl for a midmorning or evening snack, ready in no time!

You could also make a smoothie with curds and some fruits. Keep sugar out of these recipes, though. And, artificial sweeteners, too. Using honey, dates or raisins is a better alternative.

Curds go well with parathas, rice (curd-rice, any day!) or oats, too.

Buttermilk, when had after a heavy lunch, makes for the best digestive. Just add some cumin powder, rock salt (kala namak), some finely chopped green chillies and coriander and you get the best cooling, digestive drink, ever. You know that, don’t you?

Cottage cheese, or paneer, is another milk product loaded with calcium and proteins. And, it aids in weight loss, too. Homemade paneer tastes the best–soft and creamy–as opposed to the readymade one, which is often rubbery and lacks any taste. Just add a spoon of lemon juice to some warm milk and when the milk curdles and the curds separates, pour it through a cloth in a strainer. Gather the cloth, squeeze it lightly to drain the excess water and tie it up. That’s it. Perfect, soft, tasty paneer ready to be used in your recipes, or eat it as is.

Cheese provides calcium and proteins, vitamins A and B12, riboflavin, phosphorus and zinc. The best benefit of cheese, I read, is for the teeth as it prevents tooth decay. For those trying to gain some weight, you could add cheese to your diet. It helps improve the bone density and also strengthens the muscles.Opt for cheese with low salt content as otherwise it could affect your blood pressure.

And, finally, gheeor clarified butter, is another milk product that you can consume on a daily basis. It will help in maintaining your gut health, keep your joints healthy, your heart beating beautifully, your skin soft, and your weight under control. My post on Ghee has the method of preparing it at home. it’s really easy to make, or you could buy white butter from the market and use that to prepare the ghee.

So, if you have deleted milk from your daily diet due to lactose intolerance, do include it now through the various milk products.  You will be doing a world of good for your health–mental as well as physical health. Trust me!

Take care,

Love,

SHILPA…

 

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Two herbs that aid your digestive system.

Two herbs that aid your digestive system.

 


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Cumin seeds, or Jeera, and Carom seeds, or Ajwain, are common herbs used in many a recipes. I love the flavour cumin seeds bring to every dish I use them in. And, carom seeds too have their distinct flavour as well as taste.

Combine these two herbs in boiling water and what do you get?

Best drink in aid of digestion

A glassful of a health drink that solves your digestion problems, gets rid of flatulence, fights acidity, helps in weight reduction and provides iron.

It’s a drink I begin my day with ever since my bestie suggested it to me. A glassful of this–actually, two glasses of this drink– first thing in the morning helps relieve any kind of digestive problem, increases my appetite and thus helps me increase my food intake, that I so need.

Surprisingly, this drink also helps reduce weight by dissolving body fat. So, if you are trying to shed those kilos, do try it out. In fact, dissolving fat is one of its few main benefits.

Lightly crush a teaspoon each of these seeds in your palm and add these to the water that you have kept for boiling.  You may add ginger and honey, too. Once the water comes to a boil, switch off the gas and allow to cool. Strain and drink. Don’t gulp it down, though. Sip it slowly and feel it sliding down your throat, entering your system and working its magic!

You could prepare the brew with either of the herbs, or both together. But, a word of caution here: if you experience any discomfort, discontinue it immediately. Drinking plain, warm water with ginger, lemon and honey works well, too!

Did you know that the digestive process has a profound impact on our emotional and mental state? An increase in our stress levels and our anxiety affects our digestive system to quite an extent, and this in turn worsens our stress levels furthermore.

Keeping our digestive system in a good working condition is therefore a necessity if you wish to have a peaceful day.

To check if your digestive system is working well, take a look at your tongue. A light, thin coating reveals a good digestion and a thickly coated tongue reveals poor digestion.

Oh, also a bad digestive system often results in an irritable mood!

And, therefore, you begin your day with a glassful of warm cumin+carom seed water, with some ginger and a spoonful of honey. This is bound to keep your digestive tract happy as well as your state of mind!

Try it!

Love,

SHILPA…

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Herbs that aid the digestion

 

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

 

 

 

From thin to slim. #Bonhappetee.

From thin to slim. #Bonhappetee.

Get Fit Stay Fit

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What is, or has been, the number one wish on your health list? Let me guess, does it have to do with losing weight? I know, that must be it, because 9 out of 10 people consider themselves overweight, or “fat” (which is so wrong, let me tell you) and follow everything they can in order to lose a few pounds.

The world is not kind to people, either. The body shaming taunts must have wounded your spirits, and your self-esteem must have suffered badly, isn’t it?

I, too, have faced the barbs and the hurtful questions for the longest time. But, I belonged to the other “category” — I have been thin all my life. Thin as in never being considered slim and trim, but thin. And, people are not kind to people like me, too. I have heard it all–from “don’t you eat?” to “does your hubby thrash you if you eat more?”.

People fail to realise that there is a thing called metabolism – the process that occurs within our body that maintains life; a process that causes food to be used as energy, and decides how fast or slow our calories and fat gets burned.

I have a high metabolism, that means, the food that I eat gets converted into energy at a faster rate and hence doesn’t get converted into fat. So, however much I eat, multiple times in a day, it hardly shows!

Earlier, though, the thinness caused me to appear gaunt and stick-thin. Hubby encouraged me to eat all that I wished to and include all sorts of health tonics and stuff, but to no avail. I remained thin as ever.

Yoga: the best exercise regimen

It was only around three years ago, that I felt I needed to include a proper exercise regimen that would not further burn my calories, but help tone my body and help build some muscles. And, the best way to attain that, I felt, was through Yoga.

Yoga helped me understand my body. The areas that were flexible and also those that weren’t, and the aches and pains when I bent forward or backwards. Regular practice helped increase the flexibility in a body that had not had any kind of exercise for a long time.

We women are under the wrong impression that our household chores make for perfect workout sessions. It is really not so! We do burn calories sweeping floors and running around after the kids all day long, but, the flexibility that every other part of our body lacks can be achieved only by a proper workout.

The various asanas and the Suryanamaskars helped me achieve the kind of flexibility and suppleness I needed. I could feel my body getting toned, my skin getting healthier and me getting trimmer and curvier from being stick thin.

A balanced diet:

We learn right from our school days how important it is to follow a balanced diet in order to stay healthy and happy, but rarely do we actually follow it on a daily basis. Thanks to our busy schedules we treat our health as an afterthought.

I used to begin the day with a king-sized breakfast followed by a good lunch, too, but it was in the late afternoons that my energy levels dipped and I would feel tired soon. I realised the time gap between lunch and dinner was too big and I needed to add some snacks to fuel me through the evenings.

Most of us make do with a cup of tea/coffee and a couple of biscuits. Rarely do we stop to think where we will get the nutrients from that we require to function until dinner time. I mean, seriously, how are you going to benefit from a cup of tea and a few biscuits made from refined flour?

I added sprouts and vegetable juice for this particular hour in my diet plan. Sprouted moong and matki made into a bhel with tomato-onion-chillies and some farsan was the perfect savoury snack that kept me full and supplied the necessary nutrients to last me till dinner time.

Vegetable juice made from beetroot-tomatoes-carrots with some ginger made for the perfect drink to wash down the bhel. Either that, or buttermilk or lassi, that would aid in digestion and also keep my system cool.

Fitness matters:

Whether you are on the heavier side or the lighter side, what really really matters is how you are from within. I feel proud to say that almost all of my blood tests come out perfectly normal, except for Calcium and Vitamin D3, for which I take supplements. I feel energetic and happy knowing that sticking to a particular diet plan that I chalked out for myself as well as an exercise regimen has helped me stay in shipshape.

My body may not appear strong, but it is strong enough from within to fight infections quicker thanks to an efficient and a reliable immune system. I seldom fall sick (Touchwood!) and on the rare occasions when I do, I bounce back pretty soon.

Thanks to my Yoga practice, I don’t experience a lot of aches and pains. And, the bad lower back that does complain once in a while, gets taken care of through some gentle exercising.

Taking care of your diet despite a busy schedule and following a particular exercise plan goes a long way in giving you a healthy body. Accepting yourself as you are and being proud of how well you care for yourself is what matters.

Fitness matters more than size!

Love,

SHILPA…

Thanking Anshu Bhojnagarwala for this opportunity to share my fitness journey for Bonhappetee.

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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