I could eat FRUIT for every meal! ;)

You must have heard this saying:

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” – this is true but it applies to more than just apples. All fruits are beneficial and packed with nutrients. I am sure you all must be aware of the fact that fruit is such a fantastic food. It’s a delicious form of energy. It’s full of vitamins, minerals, fibre, phytonutrients, fructose (a simple sugar) and fresh water. It is packed with enzymes to aid digestion and help clean out the body, flush out impurities. Plus it can help get rid of waste from your digestive system, blood stream, internal organs,  and even your skin. And of course, it tastes great! I always try and have a fully raw breakfast that sets me up with energy I need to keep me going throughout my day, fruit is the first meal of my day – no preparation requires. I love it sooo much that I wish I could eat fruit for every meal. 😉

The best time to eat a bounty of fruit is either first thing in the morning on an empty stomach (which I prefer). What happens is when you go to sleep at night, your metabolism and digestive system slow down. A good way to wake your body and kick start your digestive system is to begin your day with some fresh fruit. It’s easy to digest, helps with bowel regularity and increase the body’s metabolic rate. So, if you are not already eating fruit for breakfast then make this habit of eating fruit first thing in the morning. Didn’t like the idea? It’s okay, you can also have fruit as a mid-morning snack, in between breakfast and lunch. 🙂

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Another important thing about fruit is that it should be eaten alone or with other fruit on an empty stomach. This is because when fruit is eaten, the digestive process works very quickly and our body uses different enzymes to digest the fruit. The simple sugars contained in fruit need time to be completely absorbed by your body. When fruits are eaten alone, your stomach can more easily process all of the nutrients, fibre and the simple sugars contained in the fruit. This is the optimal ‘proper way’ to benefit from the fruit you eat. If you eat fruit close to a meal, especially right after a larger meal and combine with other foods, it’s held in the stomach too long along with other foods and will rot and ferment in the gut. If you experience indigestion, heartburn, burping and and other digestive discomforts and you blame on the meal – it could be the combination of the food, the fermentation with fruit that causes your upset stomach. If left uncontrolled it could lead to other health problems that stem from the digestive tract.

I will recommend that you eat at least four pieces of fresh fruit every day. Four pieces is just a guideline, if you want more, go for it. And by this I don’t mean, four grapes or four cherries – I mean an apple, a banana and a kiwi or peach, or a large section of watermelon/rockmelon, a bunch of grapes or cherries etc.

Grapes have become my most favourite fruit since the day I got to know that our beloved Prophet (PBUH) was very much fond of grapes and Allah (God), the Bestower mentions grapes eight times in the Qur’an (the Holy book of God) as one of the innumerable favors He bestowed upon His creation. Grapes are fruits found both on the earth and in Paradise according to The Noble Book – Quran and Prophetic traditions. In Medicine of the Prophet, Ibn Al-Qayyim (a commentator on the Quran and the theologian, his scholarship was focused on the Islamic sciences of Hadith, Fiqh, and Sufism) states that it is better and more nutritious to eat grapes two or three days old, (when the skin becomes soft), than those harvested on the same day. When eaten the same day of harvesting they produce flatulence and gas in the stomach and intestines. Otherwise, the nutritional benefits of table grapes are similar to those of figs and raisins. It purifies the blood, provides vigor and health, strengthens the kidney and clears the bowels. Grapes are categorized as one of the ‘Three Royal Fruits: namely grapes, figs and dates’. 

Enough about fruits today, start eating and enjoying your daily portion of fruits. I will be back soon with another topic.  Till than take care and eat healthy! 🙂 Xxxx

 

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”BPA Free” Products – Are they really safe?

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In this day and age when plastic seems to be impossible to remove from our lives. Pantry items come in plastic, milk comes in plastic, even storage container and water bottles are mostly plastic. But did you know that plastic containers have been shown to have destructive effects on the human body. The chemical, bisphenol A (BPA), in particular, has been called out for a host of negative health consequences. Some research has shown that BPA can seep into food or beverages from plastic containers that are made with BPA. Exposure to BPA is a concern because of possible health effects of BPA on the brain, reproductive development in foetuses, infants and children, an early puberty and a rise in breast and prostate cancer.

 

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In 2012 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the sales of baby bottles containing BPA. Since that ban, companies began advertising ”BPA-free” plastics for children & adults. And as a result it’s not hard to find products labeled ”BPA free”. I recently looked around my local grocery stores and found out that there is good range of BPA free products in the market. But the news is unfortunately, it turns out the chemicals used to replace BPA, a chemical called ‘bisphenol BPS’ may have nearly the exact impact on the human body – hormone disruption – as BPA, according to a new study (link here) in the Journal Environmental Health Perspectives. According to a 2013 study, even in concentrations of less than one part per trillion BPS has the potential to lead to cancer, birth defects, asthma, obesity and diabetes.

So to sum it up,  manufacturers are telling the truth by labelling their products as ”BPA Free”, but they are not telling you that the BPS they use instead of BPA could be just as bad for you.

 

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What’s the Solution?

The solution of course is to avoid using plastics at all. Unfortunately, it’s harder but not impossible to avoid buying products in plastic from the grocery store. It does take some commitment and creativity. Make small gradual changes. I will share some ideas that will help in reducing or eliminating the need for plastic in your kitchen.

  • Choose condiments that come in glass jars when possible
  • Milk can be purchased in cartons
  • Yogurt can be made at home with a very simple yogurt maker
  • Instead of buying water in plastic bottles or gallon jugs, install a water filter at your kitchen sink. Keep a glass water dispenser for home use.
  • Use glass drink bottles for drinking water on the go. If you are concerned about the glass breaking, just keep the bottle inside of a neoprene water bottle cover. You can buy this from eBay here. Metal, stainless steel water bottles and mugs are available too.
  • Invest in glass storage containers.
  • Buy paper cups to replace plastic cups, especially if you have a small child at home who is still using a sippy cup. A stainless steel cup with a screw-on lid and a straw works just as well for young children.
  • Switch to stainless steel drinking straws over plastic straws. Keep them clean with pipe cleaners.

Always remember, good health requires a little sacrifice, discipline, leaving certain things, but it will be worth it. I hope these tips will work for you!

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Neoprene Bottle Sleeve

 

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Sample pic of stainless steel bottle

 

Below are the sources to read about it in detail:

Link to Source 1

Link to Source 2

 

 

Ready to give Juicing a whirl?

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Ready to give juicing a whirl? If you are interested then this is the article you wanna read. The best, easiest, quickest and often tastiest way to load your body up with beautifying plants is by drinking them. Juices are like precious elixir of life, in fact your best ally when it comes to saying hello to health and beauty 😉 and saying good bye to illness and excess weight. Drinking veggie juices is like delivering a big shot of enzymes, oxygen and vitamins straight into your blood stream. If you wanna read more about juicing click this link.

All About Rice!

How have I gotten away with not posting a food pic (under my food diary page) in so long? I am a Nutritionist after all 😉 hehe. Well some nights it’s all about the comfort food and nothing beats a good plate of rice when you want comfort food, so this is what happened for dinner last night! I wanted to try a quick and different recipe this time, searched online and found this healthy nutritious recipe of  “Healthy Chicken & Pineapple Fried Rice”. Yummmo! It was way too easy, quick and extremely delish. I loved it. If you guys wanna play around with this delicious recipe then here is a Recipe Link for you. Try it and let me know if you liked it too! I modified this recipe a bit, instead of red chilli powder I used black pepper powder and added few more vegetables of my choice like green beans (for extra protein). I marinated chicken first then stir fried it with olive oil. And yes I had broccoli for my dinner side. You can have veggies of your choice and can have it with gravy if you want. For everyone wondering, I used white rice! OMG! 😉

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You must be drooling over this amazing dish of chicken & pineapple fried rice 😉  but hold on, let’s solve this dilemma first … White rice or Brown rice? Which one is good? Can we eat rice and still loose weight?

I will say ‘Both’ and yes we can eat rice and still loose weight …  now continue reading if you want to know why? 😉

Do you know that eating a daily portion of rice not only makes dieting easier, but is linked to improved all-round health. New research shows that consumers can improve their diets simply by enjoying white or brown rice as part of their daily meals. Eating rice is also associated with eating more servings of fruits, vegetables, meat and beans.

In a study published Journal Food and Nutrition Sciences, study leader Dr Theresa Nicklas, of Baylor College of Medicine, looked at rice intake and diets among more than 14,000 US adults. She said our results show that adults who eat rice had diets more consistent with what is recommended in dietary guidelines, and they showed higher amounts of potassium, magnesium, iron, folate and fibre while eating less saturated fat and added sugars.

Rice is naturally sodium free and has only a small amount of fat, of which none is saturated. In addition, a human clinical trial found that having White or Brown rice at a meal increased feelings of fullness more than a calorically equivalent glucose solution control.

Considering the cross-sectional and clinical findings, both enriched white rice and whole grain brown rice should be recommended as part of a healthy diet, says researchers. They added that rice provides about 100 calories per half-cup cooked serving and is naturally free of gluten. Both enriched white rice and whole grain brown rice are considered nutrient rich quality complex carbohydrates and can be a part of a sustainable, plant based diet that promotes optimal health. Brown rice is a 100 percent whole grain food and white rice is enriched with more than 15 vitamins and minerals including folate and other Vitamins, iron and zinc. Brown rice is slightly higher in dietary fibre, magnesium and phosphorus, but lower in Vitamins and iron than enriched, fortified white rice.

As researchers said both white and brown rice produced health benefits so we cant’t say eating white rice is a bad thing? The bad thing is when we mindlessly decide if one thing is good for us and that if we do it a lot, it becomes only worse. We do that with rice so often now. Here will come the art of knowing portion control and incorporating this into our daily meals. One can have both type of rice,  just be careful with portion sizes. For instance, if you eat rice with pulses (in our countries like Pakistan/India we call it Daal Chaawal)  or rice with veggies on the side, it is so satiating that it makes you eat slower and improves your chances of eating the right amount (the cornerstones of fat loss or accelerated metabolism, good digestion and health itself).

Isn’t it amazing? So, from now onwards enjoy eating rice without any guilt guys. 🙂

Keep following for more. Take care! xx
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Back To My Pilate Routine!

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Hello friends! How was your weekend? I hope you had a great one! 🙂

I’m currently sitting on my couch, drinking tea and typing on my trusty laptop and ofcourse my little bub is sleeping. 🙂 So, today I’d like to tell you something about my new exercise routine. Actually I have promised myself to make time for me and to do some kinda exercise every single day of my life. No matter how much busy you are – you gotta take only 10-15 minutes to move. Now tell me is this too much? I really don’t think so … Try a walk, a quick set of squats and lunges, matwork pilate or even a quick 7 to 8 minute body stretch. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that You Enjoy Doing. If it’s a burden or a chore, you won’t keep it up. You have to enjoy it, otherwise you slip behind and wonder why you aren’t feeling healthy or looking fit.

I have come back to my old Pilate routine and I have been on this journey for some time now, and I can safely say that there is nothing more exciting than doing Pilates. I used to do Pilates (Matwork) before my pregnancy and used to love it. (Planning to get Reformer classes now). I don’t know if you people know much about Pilate but the only thing I knew that it was something some of the Hollywood & Bollywood actors did. Recently I got to know few more things about Pilate so gonna share them with you guys, I’m not a Pilate expert. Most of the information I share below is based on my readings, interactions with Pilate experts and my own life experiences …

Pilates takes its name from Joesph Pilates. Joseph Pilates was a German gymnast, born in 1883, who dedicated his life to teaching his exercising techniques, believing that poor posture goes hand in hand with poor health. Pilates was initially developed as a rehabilitative tool. He devised the Pilates method as a new approach to exercise & body conditioning in the early decades of the last century. He believed that by having awareness of breath and of alignment of the spine, we can strengthen the deep torso and abdominal muscles and reduce stress.

Isn’t it beautiful? What i love the most about Pilates is how it makes you feel good, and you see results quickly which provides you great motivation to keep going. You become tighter, more toned & stronger. It’s a full body workout. Not only can you feel the exercises working, but you feel great afterwardsan endorphin buzz right? 😉 Secondly, Pilates builds longer and leaner muscles. It improves core strength (and you know after having kids how important it is to regain and maintain that Core Strength), also gives you a stronger and healthier back, a flatter stomach, flexibility, balance and corrects posture – making you stand taller and look slimmer! (I have always been a huge fan of Pilate walk) So, if you want to gain all these benefits mentioned above and want to turn your dream of losing weight into a reality 😉 then Pilate is what you need. YES!! 🙂

My Typical Morning Routine:

I believe we can achieve small things throughout our day and guess what? You get fit at the same time too. How cool is that? My current pilate routine requires only 10 to 15 minutes approx daily and I am still getting results. It’s because consistency is the key to success in everything. I think I should share my morning routine with you. My typical morning is just like this …

I wake up between 3.00am to 3.30am, and the first hour after waking up, that is the time for my spiritual intake. It’s a must now and has become my early morning ritual, Allhamdullilah (praise be to God). If I don’t manage it, I feel I have let myself down or there is something that is missing! So, I try to make the most of it and be grateful that I get to experience this morning routine only because of God’s Rahman (mercy)!

Then comes my Pilate routine, It takes 10 to 15 minutes only & normally at this time my baby love & my darling hubbssy are sleeping so this is what I can say ‘it’s me time’. 😉 This new Pilate routine is working best for me and I am loving strengthening my core each day again with this “10 minutes solution Pilates Perfect Body”. I will recommend you buy this DVD or you can find these videos on Youtube, simple na. It’s an amazing workout for people who can not spend hours in the Gym and are leading a busy lifestyle, want to exercise for few minutes and get quick results. I customize it and mix it according to my desire; for instance one day I do 10 min abs + 5 minutes body stretch or next day I do 10 minutes arms only so it really depends on my mood. One more thing, before you buy this dvd or check it on you tube, I will recommend you go to your nearby Pilate studio, get yourself educated and trained about how pilate works, learn the basic techniques from your Pilate trainer first, once you are done with that then you should buy this dvd and feel free to do this at home. You should know the basics of pilate first. 🙂

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… And yep, now I can hear my little man is making little baby sounds in the next room. He is up so time to leave you guys and attend him. I hope I did justice to this topic and you found it beneficial. Stay connected for more! 🙂 

Take care guys. Xxx

 

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Are Frozen Veggies & Fruits as Nutritious as Fresh?

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Freezing can slightly alter the nutritional composition of fruits and veggies, someimes in favour of the frozen product and sometimes in favour of the fresh, but over all, “there’s no clear winner,” said Ali Bouzari, who has done studies comparing fresh and frozen produce and now runs Pilot R+D, a culinary research and development company in Sonoma County, Calif. “It really depends which plant you’re talking about”.

Though vitamins can degrade in fresh fruits and veggies over time, many nutrients in foods are much hardier than most people assume, Dr. Bouzari said. “Minerals like iron are almost bulletproof, and the fiber doesn’t care at all whether it’s heated or frozen.”  he said. And in general, the differences in nutrient levels between fresh and frozen are so minor that they would be unlikely to have an impact on overall health, and dietitians generally encourage people to eat as many fruits and vegetables as they can, in whatever form they enjoy.

Dr, Bouzari and colleagues at the University of California Davis, compared the vitamin content in eight different fresh and frozen fruits and veggies – Corn, carrots, broccoli, spinach, peas, green beans, strawberries and blueberries — and found no consistent differences over all between fresh and frozen. The vitamin content was ocassionally higher in some frozen foods; frozen broccoli for example had more riboflavin ( a B vitamin) than fresh broccoli. Link here! But frozen peas had less riboflavin than fresh peas; and frozen corn, green beans and blue berries had more vitamin C than their fresh counterparts. Second Link

Mary Ann Lila, director of the Plants for Human Health Institute at North Carolina State University, noted that fresh berries lose some nutrients while sitting on the shelf, so eat them right away to get the most nutrients. Frozen berries will also deteriorate when kept in a home freezer that’s opened and shut often, she said, so freeze fruits in a deep freezer or at the very back of a kitchen freezer. Look for produce frozen under a process called “individually quick frozen,” or IQF, for the best quality.

Source: The New York Times