Turkish Food! Voilaaaa ;)
Hi guys, how are you all? I welcome you to my food diary. Check this pic guys, my mouth has just started drooling after posting this yummylicious food pic 😀 Well, today in my food diary I present to you this delish dish of “Chicken Shish Plate” which is a plate of marinated chicken cubes served with a bed of Turkish rice with a side of Shepherd Salad, Turkish bread and my favourite Jajik dip (which is made of shredded cucumber with crushed garlic, dill, mint and home made yogurt) Yummmm! Isn’t it tempting? You might have eaten this kinda food before, If you haven’t then let me introduce this Turkish dish to you. ‘Chicken Shish Plate’ – Voilaa! Turkish cuisine is one of my favourites that’s why I’ve decided to know more about it and find out why is it healthy? I’m going to share all this info with you …
Did you guys know that Turkey is one of only seven countries in the world that can produce enough food to feed its people. This advantage gives the Turks access to fresh, locally grown ingredients that help to create some of the freshest dishes available. Turkish cuisine is often regarded as one of the greatest in the world. Its culinary traditions have successfully survived over 1,300 years for several reasons, including its favorable location and Mediterranean climate. The people of Turkey enjoy a Mediterranean diet, (which has been promoted as one of the healthiest diets on Earth) with emphasis on: vegetables, legumes, grains, oily fish, seafood, nuts, fresh fruits and olive oil. Contrary to common belief, Turkish cuisine is generally not spicy (though this varies throughout the seven regions). Seasonings and sauces, although frequently used, are simple and light and do not overpower the food’s natural taste. The most popular seasonings include dill, mint, parsley, cinnamon, garlic, cumin.
Why is Turkish Food Healthy?
I believe most Turkish food is healthy because of healthy ingredients and the use of healthy cooking methods. Let’s discuss few of them in detail …
Yoghurt – is a staple ingredient in Turkish cuisine and is included in many forms. Yoghurt is used in many marinades for chicken and lamb. It is also widely used to make many dips such as humus. It is used as a dressing for salads and as a sauce for grilled vegetables or even eaten on its own as a snack.
Olive Oil – Olive oil is a very healthy component of Mediterranean diet due to the high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids and high level of antioxidants. In Turkish cuisine olive oil is used for salad dressings, and for preparing a wide range of dips and vegetable dishes.
Healthy Cooking Methods:
Grilling and Barbecueing – Grilling and barbecueing meat and vegetables is a long established tradition in Turkey. Red meat, chicken and fish along with an array of fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, onions and various bell peppers are all grilled. This is a very healthy way to eat vegetables. Grilled vegetables are generally served sprinkled with dried chilli powder and with some garlic. Grilling is a healthier cooking method than frying and choosing a mixed Turkish grill is a very healthy option.
Often a salad is included as a side dish. A typical salad is shepherd salad, made from cucumber, parsley, tomato and green onion with olive oil and lemon juice dressing. And sometimes they serve it with yogurt dressing as well. Ask for the dressing to be served on the side, because you can then control the amount of oil in the salad to control the calories.
If you’re familiar with Turkish food, you’ll know that rice features quite heavily in the eating process. A lot of Turkish recipes end with, ‘serve with rice’. If you go to a Turkish Restaurant, whichever dish you choose from the menu it’s highly likely that you’ll be asked whether you would like a side serving of rice to go with it. Turkish rice were new to me, when we were in restaurants, eating meals, we always wondered what those ‘brown bits’ were in our servings of Turkish rice. I became curious and did some reasearch and found out that those ‘brown bits’ are orzo (şehriye) and are a type of pasta, as you can see in the photo below.
Some Turkish rice recipes will use vermicelli, instead. Both are quite common and healthy. Turkish rice are made with very few and simple ingredients like rice, şehriye (orzo or vermicelli), butter, hot water or stock. I must admit that Turkish rice (şehriyeli pilav) is very tasty & nutritious – It’s rich and buttery and is indeed delicious on its own and definitely one of the most famous dishes in Turkey!
I hope you enjoyed Turkish food talk today and this chicken shish plate. 😉 I will catch you guys with another topic soon. Till than take care! 🙂
Addicted To Sugar?
“Sugar is eight times as addictive as cocaine”.
Mark Hyman, MD
Yes, you read that right! Sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine and many food products industries have perfected the right combination of sugar, fat and salt to provide our brains and bodies with a buzz we can’t resist. I have heard some of my friends say that they crave sugary foods so badly that they must have some everyday. There are many theories that attempt to explain the craving for sugary foods but my theory is this: It tastes and looks soooooo good! 😉
If you go into any Coffee shop/cake shop or even any store now a days, you will find they are all loaded with beautifully decorated cakes which are always on the display to catch your attention — all those pretty cup cakes, creamy chocolates, light sponge cakes, muffins, fluffy marshmallows, chocolate fudge cake and the list goes on … in fact, just about everything sugary looks and smells delicious. Isn’t it? Hands down, I have a sweet tooth and I like all these too. 😉 Having said that, I am also aware of the fact that giving myself a sugary treat once a week is not going to harm me. But if I am going to over indulge then that is something my body is not going to like. I’m sure most of you love sugary stuff but, in reality there is nothing to love about refined sugar. Why? Because it makes us put on weight, increases the size of our liver, makes us unwell and ages us inside and out, leaving us tired, fat, old-looking and wrinkled. Most importantly it makes us addictive and drags valuable nutrients out of our body. So today, let’s find out in detail why sugar is sooo addictive and sooo bad for us?
Over the last fifty years, the Western world has doubled its consumption of processed sugar (the type found in biscuits, soft drinks, and ice cream, for instance) and during this time, rates of obesity and heart disease have soared. Of course, sugar is not solely responsible – but it is largely to blame. If you feel that I am over exaggerating, then Google ‘Harmful effects of processed sugar’ and you’ll get about 32,500,000 links. Millions of people (especially in America and the UK where processed sugar consumption is highest) are fat, unwell and living uncomfortably, taking all sorts of medication just to keep their overloaded bodies going.
WHY IS SUGAR BAD FOR US?
We all know that sugar is bad for us but let us just remind ourselves of a few reasons here:
Sugar makes you fat: Your body can not process too much sugar, so it gets stored as a fat. Plus it also makes fat burning even harder – if you are eating too much refined sugar every day, you’ll always struggle to lose weight and you’ll never have a flat tummy.
Sugars lowers energy levels: Processed sugar causes a huge and damaging increase in your blood sugar levels, giving you a quick burst of energy, which is soon followed by a long, hard crash, leaving you tired, hungry and eventually fat.
Sugar leaches your body of Vitamin B: It leaches out Vitamin B from your body, causing exhaustion; any mental and phyiscal or emotional stress does the same. If you add sugar on to the end of a stressed out day, you’re getting a double disaster of vitamin B depletion. Vitamin B keeps your metabolism healthy, boosts your energy levels, keeps skin, hair and nails healthy and keeps your immunity strong.
Sugar, not fat, is making us fatter: Burning body fat has a lot to do with controlling your insulin levels. But sugar spikes raise your insulin levels, leading to faster fat storage, and this is the real reason why so many of us are either overweight or obese. Sugar, not fat, is making us fatter. In a healthy slim person, 40 percent of the sugar they eat is converted straight to fat; in an overweight person, up to 60 percent is converted straight to fat and stored right around their stomach, hips and thighs. Think about it: up to 60 percent of that delish cupcake is heading straight for your tummy, hips and thighs, where it will remain for a very long time. Scary right! 😦
Effects our immune system: Too much sugar depletes vitamin and mineral stores in the body, which may impact on the immune system. So you become ill more frequently and for longer.
Sugar wears out your organs: It forces your internal organs to cope with changes in your body chemistry, which means that your kidneys and pancreas can become worn out long before you stop needing them. Hence the increase in late-onset Diabetes.
WHY IS SUGAR ADDICTIVE?
Some people experience powerful cravings for sweets – internal messages telling them to eat sugar even though they know it’s bad for them says Dr. Louis Aronne, director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Centre at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Centre. “These people get strong urges to consume sweets, and these cravings border on addiction”, he says. “When they eat sugar, just like when someone ingests cocaine, some people get that feeling of well-being, a rush that makes them feel good for a period of time. When the sweets are taken away, the people just don’t feel right”.
An article was published on BBC News which explains that sugar can be a mood-booster as it prompts the body to release the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin into the blood stream. The instant ‘lift’ we get from sugar is one of the reasons we turn to it at times of celebration or when we crave comfort and reward. However, the pleasant sugar rush triggers an increase in insulin as the body strives to bring blood glucose levels back to normal. This has the knock-on effect of causing a ‘sugar crash’ and makes many crave yet more sugar, which can lead to a cycle of binge-eating. So, once you start eating it, it’s very hard to stop. I guess this is why you very rarely find a packet of half finished biscuits. 😀
For most of us, when we were growing up, sugary foods were used as a ‘reward’ by our parents and grandparents. Isn’t this the truth? If we get good grades at school, we’d be given sweets on the way home, to say, ‘well done’. On different occasions like ‘Eid ul adha’ and ‘Eid ul Fitr’ (religious festivals celebrated by Muslims) we’d be given different sweets like mithai’s and halwa’s. As for our birthdays, we ‘d get a huge cake, drenched in sugar, to celebrate. So is it any wonder that, by the time we reached our teens, we’d learn to associate sugary foods with happy times and making ourselves feel better?
As mentioned above, sugar has a similar effect on the brain to that of pain killing drugs like morphine and other opiates such as heroin. These types of drugs produce almost instant feelings of pleasure, calm and satisfaction, making them incredibly addictive. Many of us turn to something sugary for ‘energy’ and technically, it is a form of energy, but it’s a bad type. So, yes, you’ll get a quick burst after eating a chocolate bar, but about ten minutes after that you’ll feel even more tired than you were before. (That’s because sugar quickly hits the bloodstream, creating a rapid rise in blood sugar or we can say a spike. However, just as quickly, you then crash as a result of insulin being produced from the pancreas, leaving you exhausted). And you might grab another bar of chocolate for that quick burst of energy again because of the vicious cycle that has just started. So, stop the cycle by not starting it.
So what do you do if you have a sweet tooth? The best you can do is ”don’t ever use sugar as a reward”. Ask yourself this – how is giving yourself early wrinkles, a bloated stomach and fat around your waist line a ‘reward’? See sugar for what it is – a nasty toxin that’s dyed a pretty colour to lure you in, and which then makes you fat and unwell. Reward yourself with something else instead like a beauty treatment or spend time in nature or read a good book or find comfort in other things like have a cup of camomile or green tea or some fruits with yogurt, nuts etc. Go for a brisk walk, phone a friend – anything to distract your mind from having more sugar.
And if you really wanna indulge in your favourite sugary stuff then make it once a week but again be careful with the portion size. Don’t over do it. You can also make something at home with natural sugars like honey, pure organic raw sugar, cane sugar, molasses etc. There’s enough healthy stuff there to satisfy the sweetest sweet tooth. It’s time to get back to a healthy lifestyle, eat foods which are real and remember that sugar is a nuclear fat bomb exploding all over your body. If you eat it everyday, you’ll always struggle with weight loss and overall health.
So, ”Let’s Say Good Bye to Processed Sugar and Hello to Natural Sugars”.
SPIRULINA – My Favourite Superfood!
Hey Guys! I am back. 🙂 Today I am gonna talk about SPIRULINA — Natures perfect multivitamin and my favourite super food!!! I am sure you all have heard a lot about this super food and have seen it as an ingredient in green energy drinks, smoothies and natural supplements, but do you know that spirulina benefits are so amazing that if taken on a daily basis they could restore and revitalise your health.
It’s a very good source of vitamins like (B6, B1, B2, B12, Biotin, Niacin, E, Folic acid, Inositol, Pantothenic acid, Carotenoids, Beta carotene) and Minerals like (Calcium, Potassium, Zinc, Magnesium, Manganese, Iron, Phosphorus, Selenium). Another good thing is spirulina will be from 65% to 71% protein, depending upon growing conditions. This protein content is said to be biologically complete. That means that all 8 essential amino acids are present in their correct ratios. Plus 10 non essential amino acids as well. How amazing is this? 🙂
Now I am going to share some of its health benefits with you guys:
According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre, “A number of animal and test tube studies suggest that spirulina increases production of antibodies, infection fighting proteins and other cells that improve immunity and help ward off infection and chronic illnesses such as cancer”.
I am sure you all know that foods which are high in protein promote weight loss and low fat stores because it requires more energy to metabolise. As I mentioned earlier that Spirulina is an excellent source of protein which makes it a great food to speed up weight loss.
Helps in lowering high cholestrol. A recent animal study published in The Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology took rabbits, fed them a high cholesterol diet (HCD) containing 0.5% cholesterol for four weeks, and then fed them a HCD with 1% or 5% spirulina for an additional eight weeks. After the eight-week trial was complete, LDL levels decreased by 26% in the group eating 1% of spirulina and 41% in the group eating 5% spirulina, which heavily suggests that the more we eat the more benefits we will receive! Serum triglycerides and total cholesterol were also significantly reduced.
Researchers also discovered that the spirulina supplementation lowered intimal aorta surface by 33% to 48%, which suggests that it can prevent atherosclerosis and subsequent stroke. Click here for detail study.
Spirulina lowers high blood pressure and it also boosts our energy. In short there are sooo many health benefits of spirulina. I will highly recommend you add this superfood into your daily diet. You can find this in the health section of your local grocery store or in pharmacies. You can add spirulina in your salads or fresh juices. I love to add 1-tsp of spirulina in my juices, smoothies or salad dressings. Preferably in my juices or green drinks as it has a pond like taste. And if you wanna read more about healthy drinks and how to incorporate them into our diet then check out my article here.
I am gonna share two of my favourite recipes here. I call it ‘Green Energy Drink’ as it looks sooo green and gives me energy 😀 kidding! You can create your own recipe with fruits and veggies of your choice.
‘Green Energy Drink’
2 green apples
1 stalk celery
2 stalks kale
2 handfuls of lettuce
Few leaves of coriander or mint
4 medium carrots
Add everything into a blender. Blend it. So simple and easy, and way better for you than a can of energy drink.
You can also add 1 tea spoon of spirulina in 2 cups of coconut water, stir it & your drink is ready. Easy peasy!
That’s all for today, Subscribe for more! Take care xx
Portion Control & Weight Loss!
Hey friends! How are you? I am sure you all will be in the best of your health and fitness. Okay! So in the beginning let me discuss little bit about ”the stress around food” that many people have these days. Well, this is not my topic today so please bear with me while I share my thoughts on this. I see these days women have developed a very complicated relationship with food – they have this fear of eating even the healthiest foods because they will put on weight or they wanna look good, they wanna attend this wedding, or wanna fit into their old skinny jeans or wanna achieve that ‘Zero figure’ which only exists in the photos and movies (all the photoshop stuff you know) – all this agony and misery what for? To show the world how beautiful your body is? For a selfie or to take group photos and post them on social media so you can get good compliments and many likes. (I know it’s not the case with everybody but I am sure many will fall under this category) Wow! Seriously! Is it worth it? Do we really need to do this? I mean really? Losing weight and looking good should be a permanent lifestyle change to eat healthier. It should be with a purpose of achieving good health or remaining healthy or in order to improve our productivity not for some specific event or to impress somebody.
This food and stress relationship is very prevalent in our society – I don’t understand why there is so much guilt and anxiety around food when food is there to nourish our body so that we can feel satisfied, energised and be productive. All this makes me really sad and compels me to write about how we can eat mindfully and still loose weight. If you ask me then I would say being a Nutritionist my theory around food is very clear. I am a foodie, I love food, I don’t believe in diets and I don’t believe in depriving myself from food which is there for us to eat and enjoy. I believe we are meant to have a good relationship with food not the other way around. I really believe in eating small amounts of any food really. It has to be healthy food on most of the days but I have my cheat days as well and they are guilt free. Yes!!! Here comes the art of mindful eating and how we can enjoy all kinds of food by controlling our portion sizes. If we control the portion sizes of our meals and be consistent in our exercise regimen (even if its 15-20 minutes a day) then believe you me we can eat everything and still loose weight.
You can eat whatever you want to eat but don’t overdo it. Moderation is the key! As we all know eating excessively causes harm to our systems and it also makes the heart heedless. (Muslim readers you know what I am talking about here). It has been said that: “Stomach is the home of ill health” and many ailments are related to uncontrolled eating habits such as diabetes, vascular diseases and heart disease. Our religion (Islam) teaches us to eat moderately. I am sure you all have heard of this Hadith (Hadith – means the actions and sayings of Prophet Muhammad PBUH, reported by his companions and collected by scholars who came after them in books) a ton of times which is:
“No human being has ever filled a container worse than his own stomach. The son of Adam needs ‘no more than a few morsels of food to keep his back straight’. If you must fill it, then one third for food, one third for drink and one third for air”.
This is the teaching of our beloved Prophet PBUH. He only ate enough food so that he didn’t feel weak. So he ate enough food to keep his back straight. We should try to follow his footsteps and never eat more than our need. We should try to listen to our body, our body will tell us how much is our need. Every body has different requirements when it comes to portion control and a best way to judge how much you need is right infront of your hand. Yes a ”serving size is in your hand” ! Isn’t it cool? Take a look at your hand and use this as a measurement for portion control. This is an awesome graphic for people who say that they struggle with portion sizes. I think this can be a helpful tool. It is not, of course, a hard-and-fast rule to live by. Having said that, I think it can be of some use, therefore it’s worth explaining …
Your palm: is gonna be equal to 3 ounces. This is the ideal portion you’ll need when it comes to fish, chicken and meat.
Thumb tip: This is equal to about 1 teaspoon. You wanna use this portion size for things like peanut butter, mayonnaise and oils etc
Your Thumb: This is about a tablespoon. You wanna use this for things like cheese, sour cream etc.
A handful: is equal to 1 to 2 ounce of snack food. This portion is good for snacks like nuts, dried fruits.
A fist or a cupped hand: This is equal to 1 cup. It should be used for measuring out things like cereal, rice, pasta.
1 tennis ball is equal to 1/2 cup of fruits and vegetables, although you could definitely do more on the veggies and fruit side.
The Plate Method: You can also use ‘The Plate Method’ for your main meals. In this method, you fill 1/2 of the plate with 2 servings of non-starchy vegetables, fill 1/4 of the plate with lean meat (3 ounces cooked) or other high-protein food, fill 1/4 of the plate with a starchy vegetable or whole grain serving (amount varies depending on food selected). This figure below is the best example of a healthy Plate Method.
Note: Pork is forbidden for Muslims of course!
Lastly, I’m going to share some very useful tips for staying on track with portion control that will lead to weight loss. Here are the tips you need to know:
- Be mindful when you eat, chew slowly and take smaller bites so you feel fuller more quickly.
- Use a smaller plate when dishing your food. This way you won’t be able to put too much on the plate therefore reducing your portion size and of course your waistline. 😉
- Eating smaller more frequent meals will increase your metabolism throughout the day, help your body more energised and in turn, burn more calories.
- Include leafy greens, colourful vegetables, low GI (Glycemic Index)/complex carbohydrates and lean protein at every main meal.
- Fill up on meals that are nutrient dense such as steamed vegetables, home made salads and soups.
- Follow the plate method as explained above. What you do is you start eating veggie side of your plate first, this fills your stomach because of the high fibre content in veggies, you already feel full therefore you eat less of the other stuff in your plate.
- Drink plenty of water and natural herbal teas to keep you satisfied and to help curb hunger throughout the day.
- Drink a glass of water 15 minutes before your meals.
- Get plenty of sleep. Make sure you get at least 6 to 7 hours good quality sleep to curb hunger and to reduce cravings for simple sugars.
- Keep a food diary. This will help keep your eating on track and allow you to monitor exactly what is going into your mouth therefore keep you accountable of your daily food intake.
Just remember this, staying consistent is the key to portion control and weight loss. One bad meal or over indulgence won’t set you off track. You are allowed to have a cheat day once a week. Yaaayyyy! 😉 But be consistent with your portion control, it takes approximately 30 days to make or break a habit. Don’t give up, be persistent and you will see results that will last a lifetime, In’sha’Allah (If God wills)!
Nature Therapy & Our Relaxing Escape!
Gazing at the most beautiful creations of nature, a feeling of wonder would come over me: Will I ever get tired of marvelling at the beauty of Allah’s (God) creations? Never, In’Sha’Allah (Arabic word for “If God wills”)! I’m a huge fan of spending time outdoors and it always makes me happy, being in nature always stir the feeling that my soul is as wide and unlimited as the sky. And I feel this overwhelming sense of freedom like a free bird flying in the sky, it makes me feel as big as the grandest sky, but this same sky also reminds me that I am a tiny soul under this vivid wide sky. So it makes me feel both large and small at once and that is something I love about being in nature.
Living on the NSW north coast, we are so blessed to have so many beautiful places around. My darling hubby and I, we both love travelling so we often go outdoors to explore our relaxing escape & always feel amazing after our family getaway. But this time when we three – Hubby, I and our little Bub of course 😉 went out for some Nature therapy, I went into thinking that what is it about nature that makes me sooooooooooo much happy and alive? Is it my love for nature or is there something more? And this thought compelled me to do some research and read more about it so after coming back home I did my research on this and found out why exactly does hanging out in nature make me so happy and alive? And it turned out, it’s not just my adoration or love for nature that leaves me feeling more happy, alive and more at peace — Recently, much research has focused on the so-called “nature connection,” and how it affects our health, outlook and overall life. So, here are few more reasons why it can be beneficial other than the source of happiness for all of us?
Being outside can actually offer relief for everything from depression to negativity. The health benefits of being outdoors are countless – you will get a burst of happiness that’s guaranteed to improve your outlook on life. A study at Japan’s Nippon Medical School found women who spent six hours in the woods over the course of two days had an increase in virus and tumour-fighting white blood cells, and the boost lasted at least seven days afterwards. Being ‘at one’ with nature also gives your brain a break from over-stimulation and lets you relax.
Being outside in nature makes people feel more alive, finds a series of studies published in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of Environmental Psychology.
A new study in the American Chemical Society’s semi-monthly journal Environmental Science & Technology finds that just five minutes of exercise in a green nature setting can boost mood and self-esteem. Click here for link.
A June 29 study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that a small group of subjects who strolled through nature for just an hour and a half reported a significant reduction in negative thoughts. Link here.
Another benefit of being in nature is that it makes us more creative. According to David Strayer, Ph.D., a professor of Cognition and Neural Science at the University of Utah, “Modern multitasking overtaxes brain areas that are involved in suppressing distractions, thinking creatively, and developing a sense of identity. Strayer discovered that a mere four days backpacking in nature improved people’s creativity by 50%”. Woow, this is amazing!
In this day and age, we all are loosing our focus, aren’t we? But the good thing is we can improve our focus if we spend some quality time in nature. When I say this ‘quality time in nature’, I mean no mobile phones around, mobile Datta off, wifi off, just disconnect yourself from technology and cyber world and absorb all the love of nature. According to a study published in Psychological Science, interacting with nature gives your brain a break from everyday overstimulation, which can have a restorative effect on your attention levels. It could improve your focus.
Furthermore, A study from Glasgow University showed that people who walked, biked, or ran in nature had a lower risk of poor mental health than people who worked out indoors. Link here. So, If your are planning of spending another workout chained to the treadmill, move your run outdoors for a quick burst of happiness.
In conclusion, there are so many studies out there on the internet to prove that spending time in nature not only makes you happy but it provides many other health benefits as well. These were enough reasons to increase my love for nature, what about you guys? 😉
Here are some of the fabulous places we’ve recently visited and spent a quality time as a family, Allhamdullilah (Arabic word for ‘Praise be to God’)!
This place is truly divine – there’s something so magical about being in here.
Life is always better at the beach! I truly believe being on the beach is the best escape anybody can have – this is the perfect place to unwind and to detach yourself from the world. This is a divine beach. You can either walk on the jetty or run along the sand – Harrington has it all!
I have shared few pics, now tell me about you guys … How often do you get away? Once a year, once a month or every weekend? Make some plan for your next scheduled break, take vacations in beautiful places, visit a state or national park or go to a beautiful beach — whatever landscape speaks to you. Even if it’s a quick trip to your nearest city or a drive down to your local landscapes, make it a lifestyle choice to travel often. Also, if you have the opportunity to get outside of your home for a brisk walk or a workout, take the chance to soak in that ‘Mother Nature’.
Go, free yourself, love and explore Nature – you will definitely feel good! 🙂
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. 🙂
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
”BPA Free” Products – Are they really safe?
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.
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.
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!
Below are the sources to read about it in detail:
Ready to give Juicing a whirl?
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! 😉
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