Monday, October 2, 2017

How stopping sugar and desserts affects your health

December end 2016. My annual blood test came up with spiked fasting glucose levels. Never before in my life had I not been normal. My doctor was concerned and asked me to stop sugar and desserts and high glycemic load foods. OK I thought. I am an engineer. I can research foods and figure this out.

Next I went out and bought myself a good glucose meter. I planned to measure my fasting sugar every morning and analyze data over the next 6 months.

Found a great repository of information on foods and their glycemic index and (more important) glycemic load.

I went and purchased low glycemic index bread (you get it in Sprouts, WholeFoods) I bought a high fiber wheat flour and started making my own tortillas(Indian Rotis).

I stopped rice, sugar, sweets and desserts. And alcohol as well. I even reduced my coffee intake from 3 cups a day to 1 cup a day. The reason being caffeine brings up the blood sugar level ! Yes I have stats to prove that.

The first thing that happens over a couple of months when you stop sugar is you start losing weight. But there is something else that happens that is amazing. I used to take blood pressure pills and on one day I randomly measured my BP. It was showing pretty low like a 100ish/60ish ! I said no way, my BP meter is possibly broken. Went to my doctor and compared his readings with mine. Similar ! OK so here was the diagnosis. The low sugar resulted in lower body weight and lower body weight resulted in lower BP. Doc asked me to stop BP medicines ! I was like - Thank God !

Idlis and Dosas are usually made with parboiled that is a lower glycemic load than white rice like basmati. So in moderation is what I would recommend...Or substitute the dough. Instead of rice make the dough out of lentils.

Now its been 10 months since my modified no rice, sugar, sweets, desserts, alcohol lifestyle. I am back to eating everything else. But in moderation.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

A healthy gluten free lunch

Nowadays you get many popped versions of ancient grains. Today I am going to talk about an easy lunch option with popped millets.

What you need

- 1 fistful (size of a tennis ball) of popped millets
- 1 cup of greek fat free or plain fat free yoghurt
- 2 chopped tomatoes
- 1 ripe avocado chopped
- 1/2 onion chopped (don't add this if you have a date soon after lunch ! )
- 1 green chilli for spice
- A touch of salt

1. Gently mix up the yoghurt , tomatoes, avocado, onions, chilli, salt
2. Add the popped millets and mix gently till the popped millets get mixed well
3. Refrigerate and enjoy for lunch

A delicious gluten free breakfast

A delicious gluten free breakfast of amaranth pops, mashed bananas and almond milk. Amaranth is an ancient protien rich cereal and recently you get pops (much like popcorn) in the market.

This is an 5 minute recipe for you. You need the following
- a fistful of amaranth (say about half a tennis ball)
- one ripe spotted banana. (more spots = more sweet)
- one cup of almond milk (330 ml)

1. One a side plate, gently smash the banana with a fork till it becomes as pulpy as you would like it. 2, Transfer the banana pulp to a bowl.
3. Add almond milk gently on to the pulpy banana in the bowl while stirring so that the almod milk and the banana pulp mix evenly.
4. Add the amaranth pop and gently stir it with a fork till evenly mixes in
5. Let it stay for 10 minutes.
6. Enjoy your cereal.

I found that  this breakfast keeps me full without any hunger pangs for about 6 hours.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Mixed veggie soup

Step 1
Boil the following for 30 minutes.(close the pot while it boils)
- 2 large tomatoes 
- handful of kale
- 1 onion
- 2 pods of garlic
- a piece of ginger
- couple of handfuls of baby carrots
- 6 tbl spoons of boiled whole barley
- dash of thyme
- dash of oregano
- 2 green chillis
- 10 black peppers whole seeds
- 1 tea spoon phenugreek seeds
- 1 tea spoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 teas spoon Ajwain seeds

- Keep the Vitamix ready
- Carefully take out the boiled veggies (avoid putting the hot water into the Vitamix) and put it into the Vitamix jar
- On the lowest variable setting , start the blender. slowly increase the speed to about 1/2 of maximum
- The idea is u dont want to create smooth texture. Thats like gerber food. I like my soups a little chunky so that I can bite into the little pieces of veggies

Step 3
Pour the blended soup into the hot water left from boiling the soup.
Avoid adding salt to the entire contents. Not everyone likes their soup salty

- Dim the lights
- Light the candle
- get out some real nice china ware
- Soup tastes most horrible in throwaway paper bowls
- Surprise your spouse/partner/friend
( Let them add salt if they like)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Water solves post running hip pain

I have been averaging 18-21 miles of jog/run per week for the past 5 years now. Occasionally I will push and do about 10 miles (on tar roads). I have no training on all the required stretches etc so pretty much I just run. The 10 mile run never gave me hip pain. But one day  I grew ambitious and ran 14.6 miles. And then it started....hip pain on both sides...I thought the first few days post running was normal since I had not run that long a distance but the pain never really went away. I even had trouble sleeping on my side. I stopped running for about 2 months. Even half a mile would increase the pain.

Since I am not the one to pop medicines like peppermint (since I also run I decided hot and cold packs...temporary relief but the pain would come back....Then I read something on hydration helping with joint pain.

I started drinking about 3-4 liters of water every day and after about 2 weeks my pain began to subside. Today I ran 5 miles and no joint pain...

H2O...Simple molecule....but a cure and the giver of life ! 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Home Made Power Bars

Earlier I had posted power bars prepared with roasted flour and mashed dates (as a binder). Yesterday I wanted to create something crunchy and prepared this. The binder is still the same - mashed dates. I prefer mashing them manually rather than putting them into VitaMix (actually dates are so sticky they might ruin the VitaMix !).

This powerbar contains a blend of three grains - millets, teff and buckwheat
1. Heat a large (12") iron skillet on a gas stove to full heat.

2. After about 15 minutes of heating, put about a handfull of  millets.

3. Make sure you stand there and keep stirring the millets so that they dont burn. Keep stirring till they turn light/orangish brown. Pour the roasted millets into a wide stainless steel container ( this helps to cool it down)

4. Do the same kind of roasting with buckwheat and Teff.

5. Mix up the roasted grains in the stainless steel continer

6. Allow to cool down completely

7. Get your mashed dates ready

8. When the grains are cool  then mix the mashed dates with the roasted grains into a dough like consistency.

9. Put some wax paper on a shallow rectangular baking tray and spread the mixed roasted grain and dates and flatten it out.

10. Put in the fridge for  2 hrs.

11. Then cut and store and ENJOY !

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cancer Patients Need a Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet is important at any stage in life, but it's especially important during a serious disease or infection, such as cancer. Having a good nutrition plan and sticking to it is an important part of successful cancer treatment.

Awareness of the quality of the diet is especially important during cancer treatment because the mental and physical stresses can make it difficult to focus on getting good nutrition. The side effects of chemo and radiation therapy for cancer such as mesothelioma can reduce appetite and interfere with digestion. The physical changes cancer causes in the body can also affect the ability and desire to eat. This means that it's vital to plan ahead for good nutrition as soon as a diagnosis is made, in order to prepare for the challenges ahead.

While proper nutrition can't cure cancer by itself, it can help to mitigate its effects. A well-fed patient will have more energy, which makes it easier to exercise and stay physically active and keep the patient's body strong and healthy. Good nutrition is also the first step in keeping up the patient's quality of life, which in turn supports the positive psychological outlook that's important for the fight against cancer.

If the body is well prepared with nutrients, it will also be better able to ward off any infections that might crop up, as well as resist the negative side effects of cancer treatment and heal faster after surgery.

A good cancer diet is not much different from a good diet in general. Avoid fatty foods, which are difficult to digest, and get plenty of fruits, vegetables, and water or other clear liquids. It's a good idea to discuss specifics with a nutritionist or dietitian before beginning nutritional treatment, as well as during treatment when it may become necessary to adjust the diet. If your cancer treatment causes constipation, diarrhea, or other digestion problems, your doctor may suggest changing the amount of fiber in your diet.

During cancer treatment, the patient will probably need extra fluids, protein, and calories to help deal with the stresses that treatment puts on the body. High-calorie, high-protein foods such as milk and milk products, beans and other legumes, and eggs can be beneficial, as well as commercially produced dietary supplement drinks. Talk to a doctor or dietitian before using supplements.

The National Cancer Institute's Nutrition in Cancer Care page has many other topics and in-depth discussion of the role of nutrition in cancer care.

By: Jillian Mckee from The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance