Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Photographic Series Showing What 200 Calories Looks Like in Different Foods

Photographic Series Showing What 200 Calories Looks Like in Different Foods

Continue reading

Apples (385 grams / 13.5 oz)


Are Stevia And Agave Syrup Healthy?

Are Stevia and Agave Syrup healthier Sweeteners than Sugar?

Leslie Beck, a registered dietitian, is the national director of nutrition at BodyScience Medical. She can be seen Thursdays at noon on CTV News Channel’s Direct. recommendation: Train your taste buds to adjust to a less sweet taste by gradually cutting back on sugars, stevia or artificial sweeteners. Eventually, you’ll be surprised to learn that your cup of coffee or tea, glass of water, or bowl of cereal tastes just fine without adding sweetener.

Agave syrup has either a dark or light amber colour and it’s slightly thinner in consistency than honey. It contains 60 calories per tablespoon – versus 48 for table sugar – but because it is about 1.5 times sweeter than sugar, you can use less of it. Nutritionally, agave syrup is similar to high-fructose corn syrup.

Stevia is a no-calorie sweetener that’s made from the leaves of a plant, Stevia rebaudiana, native to South America. Stevia leaves get their sweet taste – about 10 to 15 times sweeter than sugar – from natural compounds called steviol glycosides.
 They have not, however, been approved for use as food additives in Canada and the United States because animal studies have suggested stevia could cause genetic mutations and male infertility.

A highly purified stevia extract – sold under the brand names Truvia and PureVia – has been deemed safe and given the green light to sweeten foods in Canada and the U.S., including breakfast cereals, salad dressings, chewing gum and beverages. This purified stevia extract is 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar so it takes only a minuscule amount to sweeten foods.

For detailed article click on the link -

Monday, July 29, 2013

What Is Intuitive Eating?

I believe in Intuitive Eating? Do you?

1. "What is intuitive eating? Intuitive eating also is known as normal eating, diet survival, nondieting, and the no-diet approach.
2. What are the benefits of intuitive eating?
A study conducted at Brigham Young University showed that 24 female students following the intuitive eating plan had a reduced body mass index (BMI), lowered triglyceride levels, increased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, and reduced overall risk for cardiovascular disease. In addition, the plan leads to better body image and a diet with higher nutritional quality, which has multiple health benefits.
3. What about exercise?
Exercise is strongly encouraged. It leads to a better understanding of the mind-body connection. Do not concentrate on how many calories you are burning. Instead, focus on how good it feels to move your body and how the food that you ate is fueling your activity". via RD411
 For more information -


The Reasons Why Healthy Women Can't Lose Weight! Article by 
Syeda Kiran Zahra Hussain, Certified Holistic Nutrition Therapist, SNHS , International College of Holistic Medicine, UK.Certified Health Coach, Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN),US.

Women who are “healthy” but are still carrying those last 5 to 10 pounds: this article is for you. These are the top areas women tend to neglect, even when they think they are being healthy. In contrast to the quick-fix methods and gimmicky present out there, this post will help you examine the root cause of your weight problems.

1. You have a progesterone to estrogen imbalance.

Many women especially of child bearing age have an estrogen dominance problem. If you are exercising daily, it’s very likely that you will use up your progesterone, and your estrogen will dominate. Other causes of estrogen dominance may include environmental factors like furniture, carpet, soaps, meat, car exhaust, industrial waste products, plastics and pesticides.

Environmental avoidance of xenoestrogens, taking supplements and more importantly your diet can decrease estrogen dominance and can bolster your progesterone. There are numbers of detailed articles, websites and books I have found helpful and I’m glad to share with those who want more information.

2. You're not getting enough vitamin D.

Possibly because of our use of sunscreen, and awareness of skin cancer, our vitamin D levels are lower than they were decades ago. Vitamin D works as a hormone in our bodies, and its deficiency is associated with food allergies, fatigue, weight gain, asthma, other allergies and even cancer. Vitamin D can be checked by your health provider, and in case of deficiency there are number of vitamin D supplements available in the market to help you out.

3. You have high cortisol.

High levels of cortisol (our stress hormone ) is another dominant reason because of which we tend to keep on weight on our abdominal area. Stressful lifestyle is the primary reason of high cortisol levels which works against your goal of having a lean body.

If you feel like you require to be on caffeine drip at all times, it means you are having too many highs and lows with stress hormone cortisol as a big culprit. Cortisol is linked with weight gain, cravings for sugar and increased appetite. You need to calm down and unwind every single day from whatever that shuts off your hypervigilence---even if it’s for 10 minutes per day.

4. You're eating processed "healthy."

Sugar, GMOs and excess sodium are all hidden ingredients which causes inflammation and excess weight gain. Just because it’s available in the health store and is “low fat” or “natural” and “gluten free”, DOES NOT means it’s good for you. It takes long to get over this, as packaging with the terms such as “healthy” and “natural” are very enticing.

5. You're eating too much fat.

High fat diets such as “Paleo” works for some people, but many women don’t do that well with them. Fat added to green is okay but be very careful to not to go overboard with it.

6. You're skimping on quality sleep.

This remains true and tested. Your hormones require it. Your brain and your muscles need it for repair. The two hormones that are necessary in relationship between weight loss and sleep are leptin and ghrelin. Very simply put, leptin tells us when you are sleep deprived and when you should stop eating. While ghrelin on the other hand is the hormone that tells us when to eat and when you are sleep deprived, you have more ghrelin.

Also if you are having jet lag or sleep disturbances, try having magnesium and melatonin supplements to get back on the right track.

7. You're not eating your cruciferous vegetables.

Cruciferous vegetables from the vegetable family Brassicaceae include broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, kale, cabbage and other similar green veggies. They not only are good for you because of the high fiber content that keeps you full, but also these are good for estrogen metabolism through a compound called indole-3-carbinol (I3C). It the natural source of DIM (3, 3-Diindolylmethane) that aids to promote estrogen balance. This is the easiest, cheapest way to get your weight and your hormones in balance.

Stay healthy!

Friday, July 26, 2013

15 Foods That Naturally Detox And Cleanse

With all the hype about the words "Detox" and "Cleanse" associated with The Seven -Day plan, Green juices etc..I don't know about you but I am not inclined to all these plans.. I always encourage with  certain foods that help stimulate your body's natural detoxification processes in every day diet or 2-4 days to hit the reset button on your health

Cucumber, Garlic, Broccoli, Lentils, Turnip greens, Sunflower seeds,Walnuts, Turmeric, Red pepper, Citrus Fruits, Mung beans, Water Cress, Grapefruit.

Click  on the link or cut/copy/paste -

Delicious Mexicano!

From my Kitchen: Quick and Easy Fish Tacos

From Right-
1. Greek yogurt, Salmon rubbed with Paprika and grilled, Organic Pinto Beans (Trader Joe's) Grilled Onions and Bell peppers, Fire Roasted Mango and Papaya Salsa (Trader Joe's) Guacamole (Flavored with salt and lemon).
2. Warm the Corn Tortillas.
3. Stuff everything from left, right or middle on warmed Corn Tortillas.
4. Enjoy delicious acid-tasting, sour-tasting, creamy healthy Fish Tacos.

*Vegetarians go easy on the fish

Restaurant Recommendation for Delicious Mexicano!

Aqui Cal-Mex,
201 E Campbell Ave (Downtown)
(408) 374-2784

Had been to this restaurant and llllloved it! It scored high on my list but scored more high when I came to know about there menu changes frequently to take advantage of the best local, seasonal and fresh ingredients to achieve there mission of providing the best and most unique dishes they can. (Natural, Wild and Organic)

Cal-Mex Fajitas

Grilled natural chicken breast, onions and peppers in a sweet and spicy fajita sauce. Served with avocado-chipotle nachos, roasted corn rice and corn tortillas.

Wild Rock Crab Cake Hash

Grilled jicama-fennel salsa, sugar snap peas, country potatoes, Southwest béarnaise sauce, achiote sauce and organic carrot-citrus slaw.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Another Weight Loss Food- Bajra or Jowar/Sorghum Flour

Bajra or jowar/sorghum flour- Weight loss, Gluten free and Low- Glycemic Index food
7. Finally it Shows miracles in weight loss. 
Source: Follow step by step recipe for making bajra rotis-


  • 2 to 21/2 cups bajra flour/millet flour
  • 1 tsp Olive/ Sesame/ Indian Ghee
  • water as required
  • salt as required
  • some bajra flour or whole wheat flour for dusting.


  1. Heat or warm the water.
  2. Add salt and oil.
  3. Add the bajra flour, Stir.
  4. knead into a smooth dough
  5. Heat a tava or flat Crepe or dosa pan.
  6. Make medium sized balls.
  7. Dust with flour and use a ziplock bag for rolling.
  8. Remove gently from the ziplock bag and place on the hot Pan.
  9. Cook till both sides are browned.
  10. Serve hot or warm with a Beetroot leaves dhal (lentils), Zucchini curry.
Always knead these millet rotis in hot water, it is easy to roll. And the rotis have a soft texture too. Could knead the dough in warm water too.

*Tips to follow for Millets, High fiber and High protein foods:

1. It doesn't matter how healthy the food is; balance and moderation is a key for better health.
2. * The insoluble fiber present in Millets, and Brownrice should always, always and always be associated with extra fluids.

Celiac disease

Celiac disease is caused by sensitivity to protein (gluten) found in wheat, barley and rye. For those with celiac disease, these grains trigger an immune response that damages the small intestine's lining and can lead to nutrient deficiencies. It's estimated that celiac disease affects one percent of Americans.

While celiac disease cannot be cured, the condition can be managed. People with celiac disease can lead long, healthy lives.

The only treatment for celiac disease is to eat a gluten-free diet. Fortunately, there are plenty of foods that are naturally gluten free, including fruits, vegetables, beef, poultry, fish, nuts, eggs and more. And a gluten-free diet doesn't mean an end to bread. Several delicious and nutritious grains can be used in place of grains that contain gluten.
Wheat and Flour

Monday, July 22, 2013

If you are exhausted energy pills aren't the solution:

Got Energy?

July 22, 2013 · Article by Donna P Feldman MS RDN
"Strangely, humans survived for hundreds of thousands of years, doing hard physical labor every single day: farming without modern machinery, building, gathering and preparing raw plant foods, hunting, fishing and walking tens of thousands of miles to populate the planet.  All without the alleged benefit of all the fancy “energy” products.  It seems like the more sedentary and inactive we are, the more energy-boosting products we need.
If you’re constantly fatigued, ingesting energy products might not be the solution, because fatigue can be caused by lots of non-food issues.  If your life includes any of these risk factors, energy gels aren’t likely to solve your fatigue problem:

  • stress
  • lack of sleep
  • poor quality sleep
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • illness
  • side effects of medications
  • anemia
  • extreme hot weather
  • lack of exercise
Yes, lack of exercise.  You might think exercise will make you tired, but in fact regular physical activity can be energizing, making you more fit and increasing your stamina.
Certainly there are nutritional considerations if you’re constantly tired, or always lose energy at certain times of day.  And even if your fatigue is due to some non-food issue (see above), you can help your body deal with stress or anxiety by eating the best possible diet.  Here are some food and diet strategies to help your body fight fatigue:

  1. Stay away from foods and beverages full of added sugar.  Definitely don’t make a habit of eating meals that are primarily sugar and refined carbs.  Example: breakfast is a doughnut and a sweetened coffee drink; lunch is a candy bar and a soft drink.
  2. Make sure your iron levels are OK.  Routine physical exams usually include a simple test for iron status.  Low iron and low red blood cell count may be anemia.  But if you have anemia, don’t assume taking iron will fix it.  There are many causes of anemia besides poor iron intake.  A doctor can evaluate that for you.
  3. Stay hydrated.  Being dehydrated can make you feel draggy.
  4. Avoid big heavy meals, loaded with fatty foods.  It’s almost as if your overloaded
    stomach puts you to sleep, so you’ll stop eating.
  5. Avoid excess alcohol, especially on a regular basis.  Alcohol will impact how you feel the next day, even if you don’t officially have a hangover.
  6. Eat a high fiber plant-based diet, with modest portions of protein foods.
  7. Avoid consuming too much caffeine.  And know your caffeine sources: coffee, tea, green tea, energy drinks, energy bars or gels, even chocolate.  Also, irregular caffeine intake, such as drinking several cups of coffee one day and then none the next, can also make you feel exhausted.
  8. Don’t skip meals.  After all, our only true energy is calories, and if you aren’t eating your calorie supply can run low, making you feel tired.
  9. Don’t fast all day, and then overload on a big evening meal.  Your energy level will have fallen by the time you get to that big meal, which may just put you to sleep.  And sleeping on a very full stomach can lead to poor sleep, which makes your fatigue situation worse.
  10. Don’t rely on “energy” products or vitamin supplements or antioxidants or random amino acids to fix your fatigue problem.   And don’t expect “energy” products to help if you continue eating a junky, high fat, high sodium and high sugar processed food diet"

Appetite Killing and Allergy Fighting - Green Leafy Vegetable

Dandelion Greens and Tomato Curry.. 

Seriously, our backyard weed. It has strong bitter taste worst than Bitter Gourd but goes well when it paired up with Tomato, Jaggery, Masoor dhal, Red chillies, Potato, or have it has a
green tea (Before Consuming do read the instructions). And People with kidney problems, gallbladder problems, or gallstones should ask their health care provider before eating dandelion.

Health Benefits: 

Dandelion Greens is packed with Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Copper and very good source of Dietary fiber, Vit A, Vit C, Vit E, Vit k, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vit B6, Calcium, Iron, Potassium and Magnese. Good news: It is healthy appetite killing vegetable..It is added to my list "healthy green that curbs appetite".

Medications for diabetes -- Theoretically, dandelion may lower blood sugar levels. If you take medications for diabetes, taking dandelion may increase the risk of low blood sugar.

 For all readers, your feedback always matter to me.

Do Nutritionists Eat Deep Fried Foods:


Do Nutritionists eat deep fried foods: Yes, in Moderation

Everyone considers fried foods unhealthy because when something is deep fried in oil it doubles, triples the caloric density- but what's wrong with indulging in moderation

Our Saturday's brunch -

Spinach Pooris (Deep Fried Indian Bread) served with Mixed Curry [Soy-chunks, Channa- (Garbanzo Beans) Tomato], and Potato Curry associated with 12ounces of Chaas or Masala buttermilk

For all readers, your feedback always matter to me.

Nutritional Benefits Of Ragi ( Finger Millet Flour)

Food Of The Day: Millet or Ragi

Nutritional benefits of Ragi:

"- Ragi is high in protein content. It contains an amino acid called Tryptophan which lowers appetite and helps in keeping weight in control. Also, Fibers present in ragi gives a feeling of fullness.
-It is an extremely good source of iron and calcium which helps in strengthening bones. Excellent source of natural calcium for growing kids and aging people.
-The Ragi based foods are highly suited for expectant mothers, Kids and elderly due to there high calcium and iron content."
- It helps in controlling blood sugar.
- It lowers cholesterol.
- Ragi consumption helps in relaxing body naturally. It is beneficial in conditions of anxiety, depression and insomnia.
- Ragi is also useful for migraines.
- It contributes to bone formation and improves skin health.
- If consumed regularly (Moderation) it could put premature aging at bay.

*It is not advised to patients having Kidney stones.

How to incorporate Ragi Flour into our Diets-

- Ragi flour can be used to make flat breads, chapatis, dosas, idlis.
- "Ragi is rich in calcium. Instead of popping a pill, which takes time for our body to absorb;  you can  substitute that with ragi kanji.
How to Make Ragi Kanji:
1. Boil a glass of water, put a spoon of ragi flour into boiling water, add a little salt and let it cool.
2. Drink it with a pinch of salt and butter milk/ milk/yogurt.
3. This will not just cool your body, but also gives you strength."
- my favorite recipe is Instant Ragi Oat Idli from Should thank Usha (Founder of for sharing such a innovative healthy recipe.
- And my own innovation Ragi and Urad dosa
- Ragi poori (Puffed, Deep Fried Indian Bread)
Read more: Health Benefits of Millets | Medindia

For all readers, your feedback always matter to me.

Food Of The Day : Water Cress

Food Of The Day: Water Cress

"Super food:
1.Gram for gram, watercress contains more vitamin C than oranges do, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and more folate than bananas."
2. Eating watercress daily can significantly reduce DNA damage to blood cells, which is considered to be an important trigger in the development of cancer, University of Ulster scientists revealed on (15 February 2013).
3. The research, published in this month's American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that in addition to reducing DNA damage, a daily portion of watercress also increased the ability of those cells to resist further DNA damage caused by free radicals**.
4. reduction in blood triglyceride levels, by an average of 10%
5. significant increase in blood levels of lutein and beta-carotene, which have antioxidant activity, by 100% and 33% respectively(higher intakes of lutein have also been associated with a lower incidence of eye diseases such as cataract and age-related macular degeneration).
6. Average intakes of dietary fibre, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate and beta- carotene, were significantly higher during the watercress phase of the study."

"Though cultivated year-round, watercress is at its best and sweetest right now, before warmer weather brings on bitter-tasting blossoms and tougher stems".

Different ways to Enjoy..

1. Chop and mix it in Chapati Flour.
2. Water Cress Dhal
3. Water Cress and Cauliflower fry.
4. Add some spices to a Pureed Water Cress soup.
5. Water Cress, and Walnuts Salad

6. Finally, be innovative in the kitchen.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bell Pepper And Garbanzo Bean Dip-



1 Bell Pepper (213gm) 
5 Garlic cloves (22gm) 
7 Thai chillies (9gm)-  Optional
Garbanzo beans 15 oz(425gm)
21/2 Tbs lemon
1tsp- salt
Olive oil- 1/4th cup

Action: Wash, grill the bell pepper and blend all the ingredients together. Lemon, Garlic, Thai chillies, and salt may vary...
Plan of Attack: Dip or spread on Pita bread, Whole-wheat crackers, Trader Joe's Savory Thin Mini Edamame crackers, Celery, Carrots, and Cucumbers.

Preparation time: 5-10minutes

 Makes 3 cups approximately.
Planning for a store bought garbanzo beans -  Rinse under running water to get rid of sodium (preservative).

One shot - Most of the nutrients
Bell pepper, Garbanzo beans - Excellent source of Dietary fiber vitamin A. vitamin C, and Iron Garbanzo beans - Good Carbohydrate, and Protein  
Olive OilOmega-3 fatty-acids
Garlic -  Dietary fiber, Vit.C, calcium, and Iron, Protein 
Lemon - Dietary fiber, Vit.C, Calcium, and Iron

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tips for Proper Hydration During Physical Activity from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Tips for Proper Hydration During Physical Activity from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

For all readers, your feedback always matter to me.

How to Fuel Your Workout from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

How to Fuel Your Workout from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

For all readers, your feedback always matter to me.

Thirteen Essential Vitamins and Minerals - It’s All In An Egg!

Article From Egg Nutrition Center-

Egg Nutrients Play a Healthful Role In the Body
Eggs are packed with a number of nutrients. One egg has 13 essential
vitamins and minerals for only 7 calories. At around just $0.14 each,
eggs are an affordable source of high-quality prote including all nine
essential amino acids, as well as healthy unsaturated fats. Lutein and zeaxanthin,
two antioxidants that contribute to eye health, are also found in eggs.

Thirteen Essential Vitamins and Minerals:
(23% Daily Value):
Essential for normal functioning of all cells, including those involved with
metabolism, brain and nerve function, memory and the transportation 
of nutrients throughout the body. Choline also helps prevent birth defects, 
as well as helps promote brain and memory development in
(23% Daily Value):
Acts as an antioxidant to prevent the breakdown of body tissues. Selenium
works hand-in-hand with vitamin E to protect against some chronic diseases. 
(14% Daily Value):
Helps to produce energy in all the cells of the body.
(11% Daily Value):
Works to support normal digestion and nerve cell function.
(10% Daily Value):
Essential for healthy bones, teeth and cell membranes. Phosphorus is
also required for energy production in the body.
(7% Daily Value):
Helps breakdown food and assists body cells in producing energy. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Truth Behind Maggi Noodles (Indian Instant Noodles)

Truth Behind Maggi Noodles (Indian Instant Noodles)

Food play an important role in our day to day lives to fight against obesity and diet-related disease. Today factory made foods have made chemical additives a significant part of our diet. I am working on Indian food labels basically it is a research on Food Labels and Ingredients.

My Friday's topic: Grading Indian Foods

Graded 'F' for Maggi Noodles

Just a quick drive to the ingredients:

1. High In Sodium- 1/4th Package have 950mg of Sodium. American Heart Association limited to less than 2000milligrams of sodium per day
2. Caramel Color "Caramel coloring, when produced with ammonia, contains contaminants, 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole. In 2007, studies by the U.S. National Toxicology Program found that those two contaminants cause cancer in male and female mice and possibly in female rats. The U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) has again determined that both chemicals cause liver tumors, lung tumors, and thyroid tumors in rats and mice. In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a division of the World Health Organization, concluded that 2- and 4-methylimidazole are "possibly carcinogenic to humans." Then, the State of California's Environmental Protection Agency listed ammonia-caramel coloring as a carcinogen under the state's Proposition 65. The state lists chemicals when they pose a lifetime risk of at least 1 cancer per 100,000 people"
3. Sodium-bicarbonate- May cause side effects that usually do not require medical care, according to These include increased thirst, stomach cramps and bloating.
4. Guar Gum- It is unclear if prolonged ingestion promotes cancer or suppresses Cancer.


Surprisingly half our grocery aisles are dumped with Maggi Noodles- Article by Padmaja Vasireddy (Student in Nutritional Science)

 For all readers, your feedback always matter to me.

Baked French Fries: My Succesful Experiment

Baked French Fries: My successful experiment

It's rare for my 7-year old asking for French Fries. Today she came home craving for French Fries. As a health freak I tried "Baked French Fries"

Do you know Potatoes are packed with healthful carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fiber.


4 Medium size brown Potatoes
2 Tsp Sesame Oil
Salt to taste
2 Cloves Garlic (optional)
2 Tsp Minced Coriander (optional)
1 Tsp Paprika (optional)

1.Slice potatoes into French fries, rub them with sesame oil.
2. Bake French Fries at 350 degrees for 15minutes and Broil high for 5minutes.
3. Flavor them with salt and pepper.
4. Toss some with minced Garlic, Chillies, Coriander and Paprika (optional)

The taste test has already done by 2 A's (My kids ) and rated five star.

For all readers, your feedback always matter to me.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Happy, Happy And Happy - All My Recipes Were Published...

Friends! All my recipes were published in TOI and And some of my recipes published in, and 
 And I am happy to share that my blog was nominated  "Hey Padmaja, I recently got to know you through foodies+ and really like your style of cooking and choice of recipes. I've thoroughly enjoyed visiting your blog and admire your knowledge of healthy food choices. For that reason I've nominated your blog for the Shine On award :) congrats in advance and you can collect your award at may you continue to shine :) hugs -Maria Nasir
My recipes that are published in Times Of India Digital

Image by Padmaja Vasireddy

I am Fighting For It, Are You?

An Excellent Researched Article by Vani a.k.a Food Babe.

"How to avoid consuming GMO’s when eating out:

  1. Unless labeled or listed organic (or from a reputable local farm the restaurant can verify doesn’t use GMO seeds or feed), I suggest avoiding these 8 genetically modified (GM) foods when dining out:
    • Corn
    • Soy
    • Sugar (beet sugar – i.e. refined sugar)
    • Papayas (from Hawaii)
    • Canola
    • Cotton (cottonseed oil)
    • Dairy (conventional American cow’s milk and cheese)
    • Zucchini/Yellow Squash
    • Conventional Meat (They are fed GM corn & soy)
  2. GM corn, soy and canola oil are the cheapest for restaurants to purchase. Ask your server about the oils they use to make your food – this is where GMOs are hidden in almost everything from salad dressings to soups to pan or deep fried items.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

My Two New Experiments-

My Two New Experiments:

1. Ripened Avocado hair mask (I love this hair mask - Excellent for dry hair)
2. Steamed Ragi (Finger-Millet) and Urad flour (Black Lentil FLour) dosa: (my stomach roared and craved this morning for dosa (had half an hour to prepare and eat) and so..

1. I Mixed 1 cup Ragi flour to 3/4th cup Urad flour.
2. Pinch of Salt
3. Added water to get dosa (Indian-crepe) consistency. (No fermentation hassles)
4. Heated pan, spread ( batter is damn easy to spread) and covered with lid for few seconds.
5. Devoured healthy, steam Ragi and Urad dosa with chutney.

Because I am eating dosa for breakfast my daughter called "typical Indian"...but there is reason behind my craving..

1. I like less ingredients, preferably not more than five (hard to find huh..)
2. Healthy home-made food.
3. No processed ingredients.

On my hectic schedules where I don't have time to eat lunch except fruits, I will start my day with Non-traditional breakfast. (I forced my self to get used to this habit just to avoid outside food with more than five ingredients). It worked out very well..

What are NON-TRADITIONAL food habits?

Having Dinner for breakfast and breakfast for Dinner..

1.My everyday breakfast- Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats cooked in 2% Organic milk and flavored with blueberries.
2. My dinner varies - Homemade Tacos, Pasta, Chapati, Curries, Rice, Dosa, (crepe) Idlis, (Rice Cakes), Lean Turkey/Chicken Sandwiches, etc..

Spread For The Bread-

Early in the morning - Clock is ticking, my tummy is roaring and as a health freak, my brain is not cooperating to pick fast food because of my long day at school. Hence, with the energy and the creativity sense I created blending combination of ingredients to make healthy spread for Sandwich.

1. Blend two Avocados, one bunch of Coriander stalks, six Almonds, one -two tablespoons of your choice of cooking oil, one green Thai chilly (Optional) Salt to taste, and two tablespoons of lemon juice.
2. Store the spread in an airtight container..shelf life is four days approximately.

*My daughter and her basketball team tried spreading on Potato sandwich ( Sliced potatoes, sprinkled with oil, Red chilly, Salt and Turmeric Powder (optional)) and Sauteed.
*My husband tried turkey sandwich with spread on the bread.
*Me with wheat grain chips and dip.

We all devoured the creamy fatty taste from Avocado, crunch from Almonds, Aroma of Coriander, and sour taste of lemon ahhh..

Avocado Pasta-

Easy Dinner Tonight - Whole grain pasta mixed in Avocado puree, Cherry Tomatoes, Lemon Juice, Salt, Crushed RedChillies, and Roasted Sunflower seeds..

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

All About Cooking Oils:

Healthy Cooking Oils by Su Fairchild, MD from University Of Kansas Medical Center
Copyright 02/21/2012, revised 02/27/2012

Acknowledgement and thanks to Diana Noland RD, who shared knowledge .This page may be freely linked to or reproduced only in its entirety with proper acknowledgements. 

"This is not exhaustive, but intended to convey only the most important information as relating to the impact of oils on health, especially cooking oils" - Su Fairchild
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA):
1. PUFAs are easily oxidized by oxygen and heat, and form much higher amounts of toxic lipid peroxides than saturated or monounsaturated oils.
2. These lipid peroxides cause oxidative damage, and their intake needs to be minimized.
3. Such as canola which is high in alpha linolenic acid, which when heated, can lead to the formation of carcinogens and mutagens.
4. Oils high in PUFAs have to be manufactured, transported, and stored very carefully to be safe for eating.
5. Ideally, PUFAs should be kept air-tight/oxygen-free and cold.
6. PUFAs are not generally bad for you unless they are oxidized. All PUFAs that have been cooked with are oxidized and therefore bad.
7. PUFAs are considered damaged if at any stage in the manufacturing or transport and handling or use the oil has been exposed to excessive oxygen or heat. The same goes for nuts or seeds with a high PUFA content, although they are slightly more self-protected than naked oils.
8. Omega 3 and omega 6 oils are PUFAs.
9. Many omega 3 oils have very beneficial effects, provided they are undamaged and handled very carefully, minimizing exposure to air and light and heat. For example, evening primrose oil is a commonly used supplement. Keep it in the fridge, and make sure it was not processed with heat.
10. Omega 6 oils are found abundantly in corn, soy, canola, sunflower, safflower and other commercially used cooking oils.
11. The problem is that people are consuming too much of these oils, thus throwing off their omega 3 to omega 6 ratio says Su Fairchild. 
12. The proper balance is fats in a body is important, as if our fat balance is off, cell membranes and other cellular processes do not function quite as well. People today eat way too much omega 6 oils. The ideal ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 is about 1:4.
13. Part of the problem with commercial meats is that the animals are fed corn or soy, which not only are bad because they are GMO, but also bad because the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 is imbalanced, and there is thus too much omega 6 and too little omega 3 in the resulting meat. People buying meat should look not only for organic, but also for free range.

Approximate PUFA content of various oils and fats:

Types Of Oils
Evening Primrose oil

Hemp oil

Flax oil

Grapeseed oil

Chia oil

Safflower oil

Sunflower oil

Perilla oil

Corn oil

Soybean oil

Pumpkin oil

Walnut oil

Cotton seed oil

Sesame oil

Canola oil

Rice bran oil

Beech nut oil

Peanut oil

Pecan oil

Brazil nut oil

Pistachio oil

Cashew oil

Almond oil

Duck fat

Filbert oil

Avocado oil

Macadamia oil

Goose Fat

Palm oil

Olive oil


Cocoa Butter

Coconut oil
Palm Kernel oil

Oils to Avoid:
1. Avoid food cooked in any oil over a 20% PUFA content: soy, canola, perilla, safflower, sunflower, corn, walnut oil, rice bran oil, and/or peanut oil.
2. Ideally, choose oils that have a PUFA content of 10% or less for cooking. The higher the PUFA content of an oil, the more delicate it is, and the more carefully it should be handled. This means it needs to be kept airtight and refrigerated.
3. Canola oil is about 21% linoleic acid, and 7-10% alpha linolenic acid; and alpha-linolenic acid is an omega-3 PUFA which should NEVER be heated.
4. Avoid margarine and any oil that is hydrogenated, and any 'vegetable' oil. Do not use any oil that smells rancid. Most restaurants use vegetable oil, which is usually soy in North America. Other restaurants use canola oil, and this is more so in Canada. Avoid fried food if possible. Unfortunately, avoiding bad oils will probably mean not eating out except at very select restaurants that use good oils. 
Oils to Cook With: The best oils to cook with are the ones lowest in PUFA. But be aware that manufacturing and extraction processes can affect the quality of the oil.
1. Always choose organic virgin grade oil if possible. Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is widely available, and is very reasonably priced.
2. Feel free to eat small to moderate amounts of raw organic nuts and seeds: cashews, pecans, filberts, macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, chia.
3.  Do not cook with any nut or seed with a high PUFA content. This is calculated by considering the percentage of PUFA in the oil, and the percentage of oil in the nut or seed.
4. Avoid cooking with walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia, flax.
5. Cashews, macadamia, filbert, almond, and pistachio can be cooked with if one must cook with nuts.
6. Pecan and peanut are less ideal to cook with.
7.  People do cook with sesame seeds in small amounts, but remember that almost a quarter of the volume is PUFAs.
8. About half the volume of a sunflower seed is PUFAs, and for walnuts it is just over a quarter.
9. Cook with virgin coconut oil, organic ghee, organic free range lard, free range goose or duck fat.
10. Drizzle organic virgin olive oil over your food after it is done cooking, or if desired, sesame oil can be used for flavor.
11. Other gourmet oils not mentioned can also be used in small amounts drizzled over food, but not for cooking unless low in PUFA.
12. Coconut oil is good for stove-top cooking as well as baking.
13. Almond oil, macadamia oil, virgin palm oil, and olive oil can be baked with but are less ideal for the stove-top.
14.  Walnut oil must NEVER be heated; treat it as delicately as flax oil.
Many poor quality commercial ghees have measurable amounts of trans fat, which could be due to adulteration with vegetable oils. But properly made quality ghee has been shown to decrease cholesterol levels and increase excretion of bile. Ghee can also lower prostaglandin levels and decrease secretion of leukotrienes, both of which are mediators of inflammation. Wistar rats fed native and oxidized ghee showed that a 10% ghee-supplemented diet decreased arachidonic acid levels in macrophage phospholipids. This being said, some people may experience higher triglyceride levels with ghee, so if you consume ghee, do so in moderation. It is important that ghee be organic, as non-organic butter and therefore non-organic ghee is high in PCBs.
Benefits of Healthy Oils:
Studies have shown that moderate (not high) fat diets can promote weight loss. Coconut oil has the added benefit of being high in medium chain fats that the body preferentially burns for energy instead of storing as fat. One to four teaspoons of good oil with each meal is very reasonable. Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats, which are beneficial in small to moderate amounts. Avoid taking in any extra processed or heat damaged polyunsaturated fat as much as possible.
Good fats and oils are very important, as they are required for absorption of fat soluble vitamins. The cells in our body also require good fats in the cell membrane. We cannot live without fat.
Q and A:
Q: Is canola oil a good oil to use for cooking?
A: No, canola oil should not be used for cooking.
Q: Is it healthy to eat food or chips cooked in soy, canola, corn, safflower, sunflower or cottonseed oil?
A: No, it is not healthy.
Q: I love fries. What oils should they be cooked in?
A: Virgin coconut oil, grass fed ghee, and free range goose fat would be preferred, but keep the heat as low as possible. Ghee has the highest smoke point.
Q: Walnut oil has a high smoke point. Should I use it for cooking?
A: No, walnut oil should not be cooked with but can be drizzled on food after cooking.
Q: What is the best all-purpose oil for use in stove top cooking and in baking?
A: The best all-purpose oil for cooking and baking is organic virgin coconut oil.
Q: What oils are good for baking with?
A: Oils good for baking are virgin coconut oil, virgin palm oil, olive oil, macadamia oil, almond oil, and organic ghee.
Q: Where can I get virgin coconut or palm oil?
A: Virgin coconut oil is now widely available at most grocery stores. Virgin palm oil is harder to find, but can be found online.
My Recipe:
Licorice and Garlic Mixed Nuts
Warning..may be addicting.. Use organic if available.
10-14 oz raw nuts of your choice
Sea salt, Real Salt or Himalayan salt, fine ground
garlic powder
licorice root powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
Heat a tablespoon or so of virgin coconut oil in a pan just enough to liquify it. Turn off the heat.
Add your choice of organic raw mixed nuts, mixing well with the coconut oil to coat all the nuts.
Put in a glass storage container in layers, stopping between layers to sprinkle with garlic powder, fine salt, and licorice powder.
Enjoy and / or cover when cool.
This nut mix has been well received at parties and with co-workers, and is a great traveling food. Do not attempt to be exact.. I have never measured anything in this or any other recipe. Just use your best judgement. If you like the result, then you have done it correctly. You can get licorice root powder from online retailers like or Mountain Rose herbs.

Su Fairchild, MD
Copyright 02/21/2012, revised 02/27/2012
This page may be freely linked to or reproduced only in its entirety with proper acknowledgements.
Acknowledgement and thanks to Diana Noland RD, who shared knowledge with me.
References: "The effect of ghee (clarified butter) on serum lipid levels and microsomal lipid peroxidation"
"Extra-virgin olive oil consistently tops the list in popularity when it comes to culinary oils. But these days coconut oil seems to be stealing the spotlight. Health claims abound around this tropical oil, but so does controversy. So what is it all about? Here are some facts about coconut oil.

Is it Healthy or Unhealthy?
There’s a lot of health “hype” surrounding coconut oil. These claims tout the benefits of coconut oil for everything from weight loss to Alzheimer’s disease. The truth is that there isn’t yet enough scientific evidence to support all of these claims about coconut oil’s potential health benefits.

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Type of Oil Monunsaturated Polyunsaturated Saturated
Canola 58.9 29.6 7.1
Coconut 5.8 1.8 86.5
Corn 24.2 58.7 12.7
Flaxseed 22 74 4
Grapeseed 16.1 69.9 8.1
Olive 77 8.4 13.5
Palm 37 9.3 49.3
Palm Kernel 11.4 1.6 81.5
Peanut 46.2 32 16.9
Safflower 12.6 73.4 9.6
Sesame 39.7 41.7 14.2
Soybean 23.3 57.9 14.4