Baked Parmesan Wedges

I love Potatoes! For me potato is comfort food. And yes – it is Healthy too! (Like any other food, as long as you eat it in moderation, Potato is good for you too)

“Power-Packed” Potato-ey Parmesan Wedges, made a perfect side to my dinner last night.

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Here comes the Recipe:

BAKED PARMESAN WEDGES

INGREDIENTS-

  • 2-3 boiled potatoes, sliced into wedges. (You can leave the skin on – tastes way better!)
  • Finely chopped Parsley – handful
  • 1 pod garlic – finely grated
  • 1tsp Oregano
  • 1tsp Rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme
  • 1 tsp Chilly flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp Oil
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • 2-3 tbsp shredded Parmesan Cheese

METHOD-

  1. Preheat the oven to about 200* C or about 375*F
  2. Lightly grease the baking tray and set it aside
  3. Place the boiled potato wedges in a large bowl. Drizzle with the oil and add all the spices and seasonings.
  4. Toss to coat.
  5. Place these spiced potatoes on to the baking tray. Let it bake, till they are roasted golden, say about 10 minutes
  6. Sprinkle with some parsley and Parmesan
  7.  Then ATTACK!

VARIANTS-

  1. You can have these yummies as is, or with some sauce, or some cheesy dips.
  2. Sweet Potato variant – this is something I intend to try soon.

Moong Sprout – the Italian Way!

Dreaming of foods and then actually cooking them, is what I have been doing the last few days. Yes, I am absolutely in love with Food and I totally believe ‘Who Says Healthy Food Ain’t Fun’.

So keeping up with this here’s one of my recipes – that I made this morning and was fairly yummy and Nutritious.

So, here we go –

Moong Sprout – the Italian Way!

Ingredients –

  • 1 cup – Moong sprouts – boiled
  • 1 big Sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup Sliced capsicums – Red, Yellow, Green
  • 1/4 cup Sliced & Boiled French beans
  • 1/4 cup Sliced & Boiled Carrots
  • Finely chopped Parsley – handful
  • 1tsp Oregano
  • 1tsp Rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme
  • 1 tsp Chilly flakes
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)

Method –

  1. Heat the oil in a casserole or large, wide pan and add all the spices, let it cook for 30 seconds
  2. Add all the vegetables, season with salt and pepper and gently stir it for a few minutes.
  3. Share it & EAT it 😉 It’s a perfectly yummy & healthy snack

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(This picture is from the pan)

‘Yummy in My Tummy’ Addition –

Eat with a hung curd dip – not only does it add up to a yummy dressing, it is also very nutritious.

 

New Year.. but..Not so New Resolutions

IT’S going to be New Year’s Eve soon. Most of you already have plans while some are still are clueless! But we all know one thing for certain – on New Year’s Eve – We will celebrate.. And our celebrations always include – FOOD & DRINKS (both alcoholic & non-alcoholic). And that evening you will still be heavy on tum ‘again’.. (well haven’t you been  partying since Christmas 😉 )

BUT you try to justify and resolve it all with a New Year’s resolution to ‘lose weight’, like you did the year before this, and the year before that!

Going on a diet – more often than not is the most popular New Year’s resolution and as we know it does more harm than good, as we are always setting ourselves up to fail.

How is it possible, to be one kind of a person till Dec 31st and then suddenly as the clock strikes 12, become a super conscious health nut – immediately in the very next moment! So do you just drop all your lifestyle habits and adopt to a newer life – in that one moment?

We have  unrealistic expectations when it comes to dieting after the festive season. We equate a diet to a punishment, post all the merry making of Christmas & New Year – just to find ourselves repeat this pattern the following year. So did the punishment actually work?

NOTHING CHANGES, TILL YOU CHANGE

I have always said – there is much more to weight loss than just diet and exercise. Here comes Jan and so many will skimp on food and slog at the gym. The more fun your New Year party was, the more you torture yourself

Thankfully, our body and brain are way more sensible than we are. Your body’s primary function is survival and if you deprive yourself of nutrients and lots of energy your body isn’t going to quickly let you into that bikini or that LBD or raise your metabolism or give you the abs. Instead, it  will slow down the metabolism and hold onto energy so you can actually survive, the self-inflicted torture

Before you start to work on your body – it is better to work on your mind. Don’t we all already know how important it is to exercise or how beneficial it is to eat at regular intervals is or any other nutrition or health related fact – yet we do the exact opposite.

How often have you experienced or heard from someone who had a stressful day at work and didn’t know the best way to deal with it, so just went home and binged on their favorite food or just had a few glasses of wine to calm themselves down. Then obviously you don’t sleep so well that night and the next day are a bit groggy so instead of starting their day with a fruit, they reach for a coffee. And in turn, increase the stress levels, within the body, leading to more cortisol and leading to more fat storage. Was your solution actually a solution?

So its not that we are not aware – we have just become slaves to our habits, we need to re-wire our mind first, to re-wire our habits, and then will the diet actually work for you.

It’s been a busy year, you are looking forward to have a good time at your New Year Party, then do just that. If your New Year Resolution has a list of 10 things you intend to change, cut it down to 1 or 2 things and if you achieve it give yourself a high five. Be realistic in your expectations and let go of the extra pressure you put on yourself to achieve the impossible. Give your self a gift of your own kindness this New Year

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LOOK YOUR BEST THIS WEDDING SEASON

The Winter Wedding Season is here and you want to look your best; losing weight is definitely a part of that and not lose that enthralling glow.

Here are the top 5 MUST HAVES (ideally if you start this 2 months before the wedding it works the best, but now is a good time too)

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The Perfect Protein solution. Proteins are important for repairing and building the cells. The amino acids are the basis of all the cell in our body. In fact structural proteins like collagen, elastin, and keratin create the connective tissues to keep our skin, hair and nails healthy. So this way you get your daily dose of protein whether you are vegetarian or non-vegetarian. This will ensure that your cells stay healthy ad collagen firm for a supple skin.

Also being a good source of minerals like calcium, it helps strengthen bone density and gives you a good, toned look.

Tip:

  • A cup of milk at bed time, gives you that beauty sleep and helps your mind and body recover from the stresses of the day
  • Have a small bowl of curd/ glass of buttermilk before you step out for that party, it will not only keep you calmer and happy, it will also make your tummy look flatter

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The Metabolizer. (Though this is another milk product, but this one definitely needs a special mention.)

Ghee contains conjugated linolenic acid, a type of omega-6 fatty acid, which leads to weight loss. It helps mobilize fats from those stubborn fat areas of the body.

It is the perfect solution for bloating, which is a common side effect with late night eating and sleepless nights

Also the essential fatty acids in ghee lead to good assimilation of fat soluble vitamins, more specifically Vitamin A & E and add that touch of glow to your face.

Tip: 3-4 tsps a day, preferably with your meals – and will give your tummy the flat look!

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The complete detox solution. Sugarcane juice clears skin imperfections. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) which are part of the natural constituents of sugarcane juice, fight acne, reduce blemishes, prevent ageing and help in keeping the skin hydrated.

Tip: Just 1 glass at day mid-afternoon will make your skin will look radiant and clean.

sevilla

The anti-aging solution. Coconut water contains anti-microbial powerhouse called lauric acid that helps protect against skin infections. It also contains protein called cytokines that is responsible for encouraging cell growth and cell activation.

They regulate signals in response to inflammation caused by acne and also have an anti-ageing effect on the skin. Both external and internal use can improve wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots.

Tip: Have it as a mid day meal, by itself, definitely add the malai to it – to give you the added glow

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The Powerhouse. It is rich in powerful vitamins, anti-oxidants, phytochemicals, nutrients and moisture making it the perfect snack for instant energy.

This fruit will nourish and revitalize dry skin as well as smoothen rough and aging skin. If you have acne-prone oily skin, you can use it topically for oil control and to reduce further breakouts.

Rich in fibre and pre-biotic by nature, this fruit is your solution to building good gut friendly bacteria and can give you a flatter looking tummy!

Tip: Eat it first thing in the morning, and see your energy levels soar throughout the day.

(White) Butter makes life Better

How can we think of Janmashtami and not think of butter – the food that Lord Krishna loved so much that he wouldn’t even mind stealing and eating.

But today we cannot think of eating butter – because we only associate it to being fattening. But – was Lord Krishna fat?

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We always picture Krishna as young, full of love, energy and enthusiasm; sharp, smart, intelligent and agile – being very quick in his movements – remember how he would steal butter? 😉

Butter though high in calories (for the calorie-counters), not only does it enhance the taste of the food its added too, it is even better in its nutritive goodness and makes life much better for you.

  • It is rich in anti-ageing Vitamin A and enzymes. Being the ‘fat’- it helps our body retain calcium, phosphorous and vitamin A and D.
  • Contrary to belief, white butter actually helps you LOSE WEIGHT! It helps in proper assimilation and metabolism of cholesterol and other fat constituents. Thereby breaking down and utilizing fats more efficiently. The result is – Fat Loss!
  • Have you ever stopped to wonder why your dadi or nani would give you khichdi with ghee or makhan when you were down with a cold and flu? White butter boosts and strengthens your immune system and in fact sometimes helps treat minor stomach infections too.
  • The molecular structure of butter helps it pass through the layers of the brain tissue that are otherwise impermeable. It helps the transportation of nutrients to the brain and takes away wastes from it making the brain function optimally – thereby making you smarter and sharper, just like Krishna.
  • The Vitamin E and Selenium (the antioxidant) in it makes your skin smooth and glowing.
  • If you find yourself complaining of weak or painful joints – think of White butter. It helps lubricate joints and improves movement.
  • Haven’t you heard people say – Fat adds Flavor – butter while making food yummy, also makes you feel satisfied. Isn’t daal-chawal or khichdi or even hot rotis with ghee so soul-satisfying?

A very important thing here is – you must NOT use makhan or ghee that is sold outside, instead make it at home. And like with any food – moderation and eating sensibly are key to Fitness and Wellbeing.

Happy Janmashtami!

The “Appearance Attraction”

Recently I met a few people – and as always they are obsessed about dropping ‘x’ kilos by such and such date to fit into ‘that’ dress or just appear a certain way. And to achieve their targets – they don’t really care about the approach – they could starve, skip meals, count calories, workout like crazies, anything but eating sensibly – they just want results! So I asked – would you put your child or someone you love on the same diet – I got a unanimous reply – NO WAY! Then why put yourself through it!?

What I don’t understand is that why is there so much attention on a certain number or appearance and at the same time so much disregard towards physiological and psychological parameters? Why do we forget that our body works as a whole unit – and anything we do or don’t impacts US – our body, mind and energy too at the same time.

An absolute focus only on Weight loss, with an indifferent or unaware approach to Fat loss – is simply Careless and even dangerous. How can we overlook the benefits that exercise and eating right have upon US – our body, mind and energy. The overall insulin sensitivity improves, fat burning is maximized. Strength-stamina-endurance gets better. We are better attuned to our Hunger cues and satiety signals. Heart, liver, kidney function better. We are more happier. We feel lighter. We look better (isn’t this the whole reason why most people want to ‘lose weight’?!) 😉

So I repeat myself – throw your scale – focus on living a disciplined life – be FIT. A good lifestyle ensures that you are not at risk of any lifestyle related disease – which are on high rise today. Get over the “Appearance Attraction” and get Sensible 🙂

Fitness

Mindfulness Matters

Eating is life’s most vital activity, apart from breathing and sleeping (in the same order as well, I think 😉 ). We cannot sustain ourselves without eating. Eating is a must!

Most of the times, we eat so unconsciously, without being aware of how important food is to us. We have forgotten its role when it comes to – our survival, our health and also the way we look. It gives us energy to work, it allows us to think, move, create and thrive.

Our food preferences and choices are based on convenience as compared to our health and well-being. We have become so busy that even eating has just become another task on our ‘to-do’ list. We don’t really have the time to nourish body and soul.

Coming back to my point – Mindfulness Matters – Why?

Mindfulness makes us aware. When we begin to pay attention to how everything we eat, influences our body, we start making smarter choices about what foods to eat.

When we give our complete attention to the meal in front of us, we feel satisfied quickly, we eat less and are able to better digest what we eat.

We live in a fast-paced multi-taking world – we never really slow down. Even when we are eating, we are multi-tasking. We are either watching TV, or are talking to someone on the phone or reading something.

DID YOU KNOW – that multi-tasking registers as stress in the mind and therefore triggers a stress response in the body?

Now extend this to when you are eating. When you are eating under stress or when you are upset, it impacts not only what you eat, but how you digest it too.

Yes, Stress Impacts your Digestion

When your mind registers stress, a series of changes start taking place in the body instantly:

  • Blood pressure rises
  • Digestion is suppressed
  • Immunity is suppressed
  • Detoxification is suppressed
  • Gradual demineralization of bone
  • Fatty acid metabolism is impaired
  • Glucose is released
  • Cholesterol is released
  • Hormones are imbalanced
  • Muscle break down along with fluid retention
  • Fat is deposited
  • Decreased energy
  • Mood fluctuations

So when the mind perceives stress – digesting your food is not really a priority. In fact your digestive system is put on hold, as there other important things for the body to deal with.

Now – because the digestive system is shut down – fewer digestive enzymes are released and obviously this leads to decreased breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and protein.  Even the absorption of vitamins and minerals is impaired.

In fact, if you read the pointers above, during the stress response, the cells’ ability to metabolize fatty acids is also impaired. And, to top it off, the body tends to break down muscle and replace it with stored fat and excess fluid. Over time, this can cause weight gain. Still, wondering how you put on the weight!?

Also thanks to this – you experience digestive symptoms, such as acidity, heaviness, bloating, and sometimes unknown stomach discomfort. No matter how healthy or nutritionally balanced your food is, your body will not optimally absorb the nutrients from the meal, if the functioning of the digestive system is impaired

So, as you rush out the door in the morning, with a toast or a ‘snack bar’ in hand to catch your train, or eat lunch in front of a computer screen, or when you are super stressed about the day or are experiencing negative emotions tied to a certain someone or something, you are clearly telling your body “don’t digest.”

And so, Mindfulness Matters, being aware and paying attention while eating guarantees full digestion and maximum nutritional benefit. Try it Out – Results Guaranteed! 🙂 

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There is no need to DIE when DIE-Ting

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Most people DIE – when DIE-Ting. And obviously when it doesn’t work –  that kills you further, because you gave up so much and yet you are back to square one.

Also when you consistently Over – diet and eat less in the process – thinking you could knock some kilos off quickly, you actually end up landing in a bigger mess. Suddenly eating lesser than before, slows down metabolism and the body responds to this ‘starvation mode’ by holding the fat back and now the body burns calories more slowly.

Also haven’t you noticed how you feel when you starve? You feel hungry and as a result are irritable, cranky, angry and feel weak. You may weigh less on the scale but the minute you go back to eating like usual, all the weight piles back on and sometimes even more.

This yo-yo weight gain and loss is even more dangerous.

Instead, it is just so much easier to EAT small meals frequently, sensibly and the right amount of food you need in that moment instead of ‘dieting’. This way you actually nurture and nourish your body. In doing so you will notice that your energy levels are better, you feel fresh, fitter, look younger and your clothes fit better too.