PICKLES VERSES CHUTNEYS

  An invariable ingredient in any Indian thali is pickle and also a chutney if you are from southern part of India.   The history of pickles dates back to more than 5000 years.Coming to the war of pickles and chutneys which one is the best, to arrive at a conclusion let me walk through basic science behind the preservation methods of Indian pickles and the health benefits and loss in case of excess consumption.

 Why were pickles made?

Historically we know that pickles were made to:

 To preserve the seasonal fruits and vegetables in salt spice and oil

  1. This preserved food served as a substitute during summers when vegetables were not grown due to water scarcity
  2. This was an ideal substitute to fresh vegetables and was commonly used by travellers and sailors.

 Scientifically pickle in small amounts has following health benefits:

 It was used as an appetizer /starter for a meal even today in traditional south Indian meal, it stimulates the digestive juices and saliva and helps in good digestion of food.

  1. Traditionally made Indian pickles are made using coarse sea salt and  though high on salt they are packed with probiotics.
  2. The bacteria in pickles helps in growing B vitamins, and create a healthy flora in the gut and aids in digestion. These also contain antioxidant and fat soluble vitamins.
  3. Spices used in making Indian pickles are currently the centre of attention under listed super foods for their health benefits (red peppers, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, ginger ,garlic apart from cumin, mustard seeds,
  4. Oils typically used are again one most sought after oils under the healthy oils banners (mustard oil, gingelly /sesame oil) which coat the vegetables and prevent decay and retain its form intact.

 What is the right method to make a pickle?

Well this is completely dependent on which part of the world you live in and what are the common sources of vegetables that are pickled and spices used. Vegetables used are Raw Mango, Lime, Amla/ Indian Goose berry, Tomato, Ginger, Garlic, Carrots, Cucumber, Cauliflower, Red and Green chillies, Raw/Green Tamarind etc.

In India there are several methods used, however I have listed the most common methods used:

 1. Salt coating and sun drying the pickle to remove moisture from pickle and then adding oil, salt and spices, this is done where the moisture content is high and climate is hot and humid , i.e. in costal parts of the country.

 2. While the other method is cutting the vegetables and adding spices and salt and leaving the jar for 3-4 days till all the spices and salt produce a good amount of water. This is preserved added oil preferably mustard oil in north and gingelly or sesame oil in south of India. This certainly leave a tangy, pungent and spicy flavour to the pickle and the shelf life varies from 1 to 2 years.

 Which is the best pickle:

Amla pickle followed by lime pickle are considered the best. Especially in South India the first few morsels of rice are consumed with ghee and Amla /lime or mango pickle as it works like an appetizer and improves digestion.

Amla extracts protects liver functioning and prevents hepatotoxicity /liver damage. Regular consumption of Amla or Indian gooseberry pickles also help in reducing ulcers, if particularly, gastric ulcers that are caused by a weakening of mucous membrane and hyperacidity.

What is the Safe amount that can be consumed on a daily basis?

Despite all the benefits of pickles as it’s said anything in excess or exaggerated proportions can be a health hazard. We need also understand that our daily sally /Sodium requirement is not more than 5 /6 gm /day and if we consider that 2-3 serving of pickle is safe meaning you are adding 10-15 gm of additional salt apart from your required dose. High sodium intake can lead to water imbalance water retention, weight gain, hypertension and greater pressure on heart as a result. While it’s not just salt alone but since these pickles are high on oil as well we need be careful in amount of pickle that we consume. Ideally ½ teaspoon of pickle that can be divided into entire day’s meal can bring in great health benefits without affecting other physiological functions in the body. Also making pickles at home will lower the possibility of high salt, oil and too many preservatives that are added in readymade pickles available in the market.

 Does this mean pickles are best to be consumed in limited option, then what is the best alternative to pickles?

With our current life styles and amount of preserved and ready to eat foods we consume we certainly double the intake of sodium compared to the daily allowance. Hence it’s ideal to make home based pickles if you cannot avoid and consumed it in limited amounts. However Chutneys which are made from freshly ground vegetables and seasonal fruits and vegetables can with a dash of powdered nuts and grams can be a great appetiser and act similar to pickle and enhance the taste of the meal. You can make a chutneys with a variety of vegetables (onion, tomato, gongura, coriander leaves, mint leaves, brinjal, ridge gourd, karonda, green chillies, ginger, garlic, coconut, , puffed Bengal gram, curry leaves, cucumber, green/raw mango, drum sticks, lime, green tamarind).

Don’t overcook the vegetable, ground the vegetable in as is form to a coarse paste with green chillies (chillies are mildly toasted green chillies with oil, cumin and asafoetida) a few teaspoons of sesame seeds, black gram, Bengal gram dal, or groundnuts can enhance the flavour of the chutney and makes it more palatable. If the vegetable is low on vitamin c few teaspoon of lime juice or tamarind pulp can make it more tangy and appetising. Tampering with a spoon of oil along with cumin, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds and asafoetida (or garlic if you don’t like asafoetida) and turmeric gives the chutney the pungent flavour that we usually relish while eating pickle.

 Does this mean chutneys are best options compared to pickles?

I would say yes, on condition that you are not loading the chutney with salt like we make a pickle, not using too much oil for tampering, not over cooking the vegetables and boiling a few vegetables that might lead to loss of several water soluble vitamins and minerals.

 Nutritionally how healthy is a chutney?

  1. Its Low on salt, unlike pickle
  2. Seasonal Vegetables are used as base to make chutney and  are loaded with vitamins and minerals
  3. The chutneys are power packed with several antioxidants which are used in tampering as mentioned above.
  4. Compared to pickle its certainly high on protein content as well, its fortified with  when nuts and grams
  5. Several super foods like green chillies, tomatoes, gourds and green leafy vegetables are part of regular chutneys.

 In short chutneys can be power packed super foods, with a dose of vitamins, minerals and can be safely consumed during all meals of the day without any restriction. However the only disadvantage is has a low shelf life, a few can be stored under refrigeration for few weeks and a few for a day or two. But this is certainly the healthiest option if you can put in a little extra effort in making it in contrast to pickles.

  book mark the blog for next few weeks  for detailed recipes for chutneys!

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Press Release for My Book -Holistic Food For Nutrition

Book released with title – Holistic Food and Happiness by Dr Suguna Sapre

Dr Suguna Sapre has written this book titled “Holistic Food For Happiness” to help the Readers make conscious food choices that will keep everyone healthy and happy.With a launch pad from Rythm Seven(www.rythmseven.org-An Art and Music Platform,Publication and Store)-this book is available on online book stores in India and abroad for preorder,and online purchase.
Bangalore, Karnataka, India., May 11, 2014 –

Published by Rythm Seven- this book-Holitic Food For Happiness”  will be available on all the online stores in India -like Flipkart,Amazon,Infibeam,IndiaPlaza and many more. Foreign edition of this book is already available- at following stores: http://www.amazon.ca/Holistic-Food-Happiness-Suguna-Sapre/dp/1304992802 an www.barnesandnoble.com/w/holistic-food-for-happiness-dr-suguna-sapre/1119249988 .One can prebook and order at following location online- http://rythm-seven.shopmania.biz/buy/holistic-food-and-happiness-9 

In this book Dr Suguna Sapre  has tried to communicate several small stories, real life incidents related to food and its importance in many forms of individual’ living and current research trends in nutritional sciences, importance of traditional Indian recipes and food market dynamics which are changing in the flat world.

About us:
Rythm Seven:
A platform for Art,Music,Publishing
Dr Suguna Sapre:
Dr Sapre pursued PhD (Doctorate) in Nephrology from Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, and was closely working with departments of Nephrology and Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism for over 6 years. She holds a Masters in Community Health & Nutrition and has been very passionate since then on to make use of her nutritional expertise to larger groups to create healthy and hearty minds !During her PhD and Masters course, she has travelled across the globe and understands various dietary practices and health habits. She has travelled across various Indian states which helped her gain in-depth understanding and importance of regional foods and health benefits of traditional recipes. Academically she has a sound background on various nutritional, therapeutic nutrition and other dietary aspects, and trained in lifestyle modifications and prevention of chronic disorders. She has over a decades experience in nutrition counselling and quality of life assessments especially in Diabetes Mellitus , Chronic heart diseases and Renal diseases. Her research education has equipped her with extensive knowledge in holistic nutrition, health coaching, and preventive health care. Drawing on these skills and her knowledge of different dietary theories, she works with clients to help them make lifestyle changes that produce practical and lasting results. She has worked as nutrition advisor and consultant for Life Sciences and Healthcare projects for several multinational, voluntary organizations, Pharma and Nutraceutical companies during her various job stints. She has also worked on developing tools for health care and life sciences domains. She has a keen interest in cooking especially cooking without fire! and enjoys experimenting with various foods to bring in the best on the platter.
Press Contact:
Sopaan Noor
Ananda ApartmentJ P Nagar , Bangalore

9916806697
http://www.rythmseven.org

 

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MIND MAKE OVER FOR A BEAUTIFUL YOU–INSIDE & OUTSIDE!

MIND MAKE OVER FOR A BEAUTIFUL YOU –INSIDE AND OUTSIDE!

The ancient Indian Teacher/Guru of Economics and Political Sciences had rightly said “the world’s biggest powers are youth and beauty.” Perhaps we are following this a little more closely than ever before. We are in a makeover world to retain youthfulness and beauty in everything starting from our dwellings to swellings (obesity), and days are not far off  that can help parents to customise physical, mental, emotional, social and intellectual attributes for the baby to be born, and this might turn into a regular diagnostic marker while planning for a family.

No matter how well we exercise our bodies, nourishing it with right amounts of food, working hard to make sound finances, spending time and money with family and friends. The epidemic of chaos, clutter and confusion around us in our everyday life, leaves us behind with one unattended yet important part of the body the Brain. This is decidedly neglected amongst women compared to men for a known reason that woman are more emotionally and socially vulnerable than men. The exhaustive scientific research over several decades on mental health problems in women has however failed to benefit organisations and individuals to help women get a makeover for their minds which is the most essential element for improving wellbeing of a women. Another important factor has been the hormone churn in a woman’s life (baby gal, adolescence, youth, motherhood, menopause and old age) that amounts to several psychological disturbances at every stage which go unnoticed and they get treated for a variety of other aliments which actually are result of mental health.

The many forms of physical makeover and fashion make overs which transform a woman to look good externally, fail to make any difference to the mental being of women. Many woman talk of pampering themselves with some luxury beauty and spa treatments and buy happiness and this form of pampering certainly is repetitive in nature. I am not denying the fact of ones grooming and beauty practices, woman certainly have every right to look and feel good not to  please someone but to “baba ghanush” (An eggplant / brinjal dip meaning pampered papa) rather call it baby ghanush, pampered girl. Beauty is not just skin deep but every person needs to look beyond the surface.

As the quote goes, “true beauty of a women is making them beautiful from inside.” Understand the beauty of soul with in us which reflects greater radiance through the mind that can learn to harness good thoughts and a heart filled with compassion, love and humility. Good thoughts, compassion, love, humility have been proved effective in attaining peace the most essential ingredient the body needs in large amounts other than food water and air.

Saint Augustine’s quote still holds so good for all of us which can be a great aid in mind make over. “Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.”

In search of finding peace we look out for several channels of spiritual and religious practices, starting from following a spiritual guru to enrolling in various activities which make you do things as per the rules set by an organisation or a guru. But even before one adopts to these forms of soul healing, it’s ideal to think deeply about, why one needs to do? How will it benefit an individual? Thirdly does that process help you get success in things that you do in life otherwise. Don’t mistake my thoughts thinking I am against any such life harnessing organisations or several spiritual Gurus who have always been pride of India and shall remain. Gurus always help us channel our energies and help us walk the right paths.

What I want to emphasise here is give time to your inner self. I am sure a few  reading must be mumbling in mind what the heck this write up is about we don’t have time for food on time , family gatherings and fitness every day, where the heck I see my inner self. But this does not steal any time from you rather this makes you a beautiful person from within. Your inner self is like your shadow which follows through the thick and thin of the everyday cycle. But do you really know inside and see if he / she is happy? Well just do this consciously for few days and you shall start feeling the change. As mentioned earlier soul / your inner self will be at peace – If this is nurtured by heart and Mind.

How to do it?

This requires two types of make overs.

1.The Giving Make over: A heart that is compassionate and contended, which shall make you more giving. Learn the art of giving selflessly (share knowledge, volunteer, support financially, contribute to a social cause,) to each one you come across and those who deserve this in true sense.

2.Thoughts, Words and Deeds make over: A mind with beautiful thoughts free of bad baggage’s, polite and calming words as you speak with everyone around, these words can make your features more subtle and beautiful irrespective of what your mouth and teeth look and require a makeover. It’s not just preaching but evolving as a person by putting things into practice in every small and big act of ours with every passing day.

The write up is more woman centric since she is the most affected as she is in greater network of people and communities and most importantly she has to nurture and fetch  more sensible and thoughtful people on earth. For this her inner peace is her biggest asset and strength. Hence the mind make over is mandatory for her to lead a more blissful and contended life compared to temporary physical makeovers. So my fellow woman friends next time someone suggests you of any physical make over think and talk to your inner self, ask questions, why, how what for every act . You inner self has the powers to make you beautiful permanently if you can learn the art of mind make over. In this fast forward life give time to yourself, beauty is bountiful in mother nature just watch around you, learn to appreciate, love and care for life in various forms this will certainly make you happy. This is a tested and assured way to beautiful you inside and outside.

Be good and do good rest God shall take care !

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My book -:Holistic Food for Happiness: international edition released

book_Image

 

 

 

 

 

Food is the very basic of three key essentials of human survival air, water and food. We come across several kinds of foods which we label it into three- four courses of meal each day. For many of us it does not really matter how much effort is put in by someone in preparing that food and how it nourishes and replenishes our body. In this book you shall come across several small stories, real life incidents related to food and its importance in many forms of our living and current research trends in nutritional sciences, importance of traditional Indian recipes and food market dynamics which are changing in the flat world.My endeavor in writing this book is to help the Readers make conscious food choices that will keep you healthy and happy! This book is not for only women who cook for their families but for men and women from all age groups who would like to stay in a healthy body and a happy mind! Wishing all the readers Pink of your health!
Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

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Party world and the food misused for decorations !

India is very famous across the globe for her vibrant and colourful way of celebrating life events. One of the popular title for celebrating Indian weddings  is “Big Fat Indian wedding!” There was a time an average wedding had a fixed budget and major portion of it was allocated to food on the wedding day.  I remember as a child in any wedding there used to be not more than two desserts , two curries rice, special rice dish (Pulao/Biryani) raita, Dal roti and salad, papad and chutney and cool/cold drink if the wedding is in summer and of a rich family. However we have managed to develop an elephantine appetite for good food and now regardless of the affordability the peer influence has been so strong that an average budgeted Indian wedding you shall find at least two Chinese, 2
Punjabi, a few chat varieties and south Indian tiffin’s (idly dosa, Vada etc.)
apart from the regular, regional thali. Ofcourse not to miss the plateful of sweets and ice-creams.

silver plateA rich big fat Indian wedding the menu
might be a small book of ten to twelve pages serving food from across the globe. However with changing times and trends and a more busy lifestyle we have learned to invest elaborately in pre wedding ceremonies like engagement, sangeet and mehendi ceremonies, irrespective of the regional divide. All these events are celebrated close to an average budgeted Indian wedding. I don’t see any big difference between engagement ceremonies and weddings except for number of people. The amount of fruits and vegetables used for decorations and menu list remains more or less the same as that of a wedding. At one point we blow trumpet on food inflation and soaring cost of living in cities same time we have been lavish in celebrating events at length. We have to have if not a big agency, at least an average local event management agency to organise the celebration, a caterer who can make foods from across the globe in Indian version, while he might not have even travelled out of the state he lives in, and an elaborate or should we call it a minimum of 10-15 kg of fruit and vegetable carvings used for decoration in the dinning area.

food carving

I really don’t see anything that we get out of this except for appreciating the food carving and dumping all this in a bin immediately after the event. This might sound too much, however imagine donating a  ten kg bag of fruits and vegetables by the couple to less privileged people. I think we are sinking in too much of materialistic outlook for every big and small life event rather than being part of a social event meeting old and some new relatives and friends,  and celebrating with a greater purpose of bonding and spreading love.

Well the point again is to ensure that we invest for a genuine reason not just to please the peers and guest. All the investments on wedding decorations and supplies are just one day affair just like the wedding dress of the bride and bride groom which they never wear nor fit in those clothes over the years 🙂 As we know good and healthy food as satvik aahar, (balanced diet) there is a need to change the system of celebrations in Satvik way.

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The Party World and Pinata Cake overload!

WP_20130924_003chakli

 

 

 

The globalisation had opened the doors for international food chains and local markets to gear up to fill our tummies with all the possible junk on earth and ensuring empty pockets and health wise making us humpty dumpty ! As a kid of 1980’s I remember there were more of traditional foods prepared on festivals and the birthday celebrations at the neighbours next door was a humble plate of homemade Chiwra, besan or rava laddu and lucky a piece of cake. There was always plenty of water to drink and no other drinks. Firstly there were never so many bakeries even in big cities and ordering a cake was possible only if you were part of a filthy rich family who would also treat children with Coca-Cola, Thumps up and Gold Spot (present versions of Coke, Pepsi and Fanta)  In short The more the world is turning flat we are turning rounded! 🙂

Children today are exposed to a volley of fast food chains, the international food chains also helped locals to build big on Indian junk. The local vada pav chains which remained a humble meal of a middle class mumbaikar on missing his daba (lunch box) is no longer a quick  meal but helped in mushrooming several chains of vada pavs from Jumbo kings to Goli vada pavs coating them with extra butter, cheese, and preserved salt loaded chutneys. The makeover of the South Indian dishes  too are equally adding to the trauma of heavy snacking, Hot chips centres  named after almost all the famous Gods, the 99 varieties of dosa dosed with butter, cheese and cottage cheese in the name of variety and several traditional recipes are facing the brunt twist the dish fad. No wonder all this is leading to a threat to traditional foods which are actually fine balance of recipe made from various ingredients.

As a matter of fact all these changes are bringing a massive change in the concept of celebrations, the party world is gaining bigger ground with mushrooming event management agencies. Specially the birthday parties. An average birthday party has to have deep-fried crispies, soft drinks or so-called natural tetra pack fruit drinks, Pastry/ cake/ traditional sweetmeats, French fries, burgers and pizzas. These parties are sure shot ways of exposing children and spoiling their liking for natural flavours and raw foods. These parties only help us in losing pounds in valets and gain over the waist lines.

There is an equal amount of peer pressure on having theme parties with favourite cartoon characters and the foods. Hello Kitty, Barbie, Dora, Doremon, Spiderman, Superman and many more on the list. For instance Chota Bheem Birthday party irrespective of how much they really like all kids have started liking laddus and just like the character Bheem dose they don’t eat one or two but try to gobble two hands full, which is definitely not safe.

Why not have birthdays which focus on food habits and health. 20 minutes session on cats loaded with fun and action:

How do they help us in keeping pest free house? Cats have strong, flexible bodies, quick reflexes, sharp retractable claws, and teeth adapted to killing small prey.

One can enact this and will add to greater fun. High lighting the fact that cat eat well and hence have strong body and sharp brain.

How attentive Cats are and how well they concentrate?

Make very dull sounds and loud sounds and let children understand how cats can hear sounds too faint or too high in frequency for human ears, such as those made by mice and other small animals. This will help them understand the importance of listening more with concentration at school and at home.

Do Cats see in darkness, do they see things in colour or black and white? Can they smell like us??

They can see in near darkness. Like most other mammals, but cats have poorer colour vision. However they have fine sense of smell than we human beings. High light on eating all types of fruits and vegetables in raw form just like how a cat eats its prey and that shall make their vision stronger just like the kitty.

Can you make different cat sounds?

Cat communicates in a variety of sounds let kids make all these sounds and surely they would enjoy these sounds. Mewing, purring, trilling, hissing, growling and grunting.

Action based body language of cats The way they brush and stretch their bodies, yawn, hide, and this will indirectly make children warm up for an exercise before they get ready for party snacking.

Hello Kitty Contest :

Let kids sing cat based songs and let the best one win a prize!

Let them come with fully dressed hello kitty toy they own and let the best dressed kitty win a special prize.

Let them paint or colour a Hello Kitty portrait and carry this as a souvenir.

Make group of three or four kids and create their own pinnate salads and Hello Kitty using raw fruits and vegetables which will be creative and fun same time.

Snacks: Have salads cut in hello kitty face or a Piñata salad using colourful fruits and vegetables ad dry fruits and nuts instead of a cake. Have more salads and fresh fruits in the party apart from one or two regular snacks. Keep the Menu simple, a Salad, a fruit snack meal and a dessert they would relish the most. Too many items will confuse kids and yes we are exposing them to too much variety and quantity of food.

Dress Code:

Don’t embarrass the parents into buying party theme based clothes. Funny things doable at home can make it for a theme based dress code. Like a tail and a tattoo of cat moustache will be more fun. They don’t realise how much you have spent on a hello kitty piñata cake and gifting hello kitty kits and on adding variety of snacks. Kids would remember this party for long since they did so many things on their own and so much fun and learning. I am sure they would look forward for more such activity based theme parties.

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A Milestone in Indian Health Care !

polio free

A milestone in Indian Healthcare ! The 35 years of battle against Polio comes to an end ! Feel more gratified as I had been part of this mega programme for an important clinical research project and worked closely with WHO team. The experience was memorable  one and I feel lucky to get an opportunity to serve in one of India’s greatest health care battles!

Want to learn more :  http://uni.cf/1fdycMU

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Lets not confuse but infuse patients to eat just right!

new collage image for blog post

“The recent research finding has led to alarming interests from heart patients asking “so can we eat a pack of  wafers since sugars are dangerous for heart while fatty foods are fine !”

I am sure many folks like me are struggling hard to help patients understand what is required and how much is required and how to prepare!

Here is a small note for all my dear colleagues and regulars Suphala blog readers:

I think Nutritional Science is evolving with changing times and cannot just label previous research. Having said that it’s equally important to educate confused patients about what is good and what is bad. There is one single food which is super food and rest a junk. We are coming out with such extreme theories and generalizing it on mass populations irrespective of cultural and environmental divide.  For instance if you look at a normal middle-income South Indian to an equal American, the amount of food a south Indian consumes is rich in carbohydrates and rich in several anti oxidants and minerals , despite he is genetically more predisposed to Diabetes we cannot ask him to stop all carbs since these tend to rise blood sugars, nor  we have a stringent rule of making his diet sugar-free which might lead to hypoglycemia. While the American counter part who is exposed to a larger meal, with more refined foods and ready to eat food stands at equal risk of chronic disorders  like diabetes, obesity and hypertension, since his food is doubly rich in carbs, protein, as well as fat. Fine balance is helping them understand and adopt to foods in balanced proportions. Can you stop all the stores that sell cup cakes and burgers , answer is NO. I think even before such research comes to light bringing fats as one cause for heart diseases for 5 decades and now we conclude that ooh no its sugars now. I think the missing link here is that in 5 decades we have learnt to make  not only graveyard of animals in our gut but also graduated to consuming large portions of sugar rich diets. The vegan trend has helped us contain with animal foods to some extent but has probably directed us to soothe our tongue and tummy on sugars. Why do we need sugar, cream, yoghurt to make a fruit smoothie can’t we much and eat one nice juicy fruit as is ?
Fresh salads seasoned with lime juice is best option why do we add loads of honey and fresh creams and cheese and do sugar and fat fortification. The problem is not with new research but with new-found cooking methods and our adaptability to eat loads of fatty and sugar rich foods and paving way to not just heart attacks but to several life style diseases and disorders.
I am sure there must be so many feeling happy about the sugar story and heart attacks and enjoying a double dose of fatty chicken burger shunning the home-made pan cake for its sugar and then jam / maple syrup on it ! No no its bad for health will lead to heart attacks. Sooner we shall also see bill boards screaming sugar-free list of desserts inviting more chemicals in our foods and probably another 5 decades down we read an article if we survive 🙂 that synthetic sugars are found major culprits ! leading cause of heart attacks ! ” Go for natural sugars its healthy !  So to conclude which type of foods lead to more heart attacks will only mislead people by dwelling into wrong food habits.

So my fellow health and Nutrition consultants let there be sophisticated nutritional sciences  research for areas less explored. We all very well know that human body is a magnificent creation of some super natural power and the digestive system is designed with host of enzymes and acids that synthesize foods from various food groups and most importantly we need to tune a fine balance of foods from all food groups. Lets provide a holistic perspective of food that will nourish and not to scare our innocent patients with a specific food group. Promote and encourage cooking food at home and it shall surely bring in balance in what we all eat. ! So please  eat sugars, fats, proteins and all foods giving vitamins and minerals as we need all of these in different, small/ large portions.

“Lets  make an effort learn to fine tune and balance our bodies by eating not too loose or too tight but eating just right !”

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Suphala collaborates with Trinity Diagnostic Centre

Suphala collabrates with Trinity Diagnostic

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How to create an Organised and User friendly kitchen

 

This information may not come from any nutrition or health expert. However I have ensured to cover this issue for multiple reasons hich affect our time, enthusiasm and effectiveness and variety in cooking. Basically cooking food in clean place with a happy mind can prove meditative try it yourself 🙂 !

  1. Ensure all your equipment’s like Gas stove, Microwave, Oven, toaster, sandwich maker, water filter, Mixer, grinder, food processors, copping boards and knives are all in good condition and service timely as and when required.
  2. Have a fortnightly assessment for groceries and list down the foods that are required for the next 15 days.
  3. Fix  1 hr time on a  weekend day to make your masalas,  curry powders and sprouts and batter for idly dosa, or ready to use paratha stuffing /phulka /roti dough (dough can be refrigerated for 2 days max)
  4. Clean up empty containers and refill foods that are needed over the next 15 days and ensure foods in large amounts are stored with good insect /pest control pills.
  5. Red chillies in dal and dry neem and tulsi leaves in rice are effective in keeping the grains clean and insect free apart from other organic products available in the market.
  6. Clean up your spice box and add the spices required and keep it handy.
  7. Clean up the fridge with left overs and other stuff and ensure proper defreeze and cooling temp are maintained well.
  8. Keep different foods in fridge in separate sections (dairy product, meat and poultry, cooked foods, ready to make foods , vegetables and fruits, and foods that required freezing if any.
  9. Plan a week’s family menu, it’s easy to cook when planned and things are in place.
  10. Kitchen towels napkins and covers to be cleaned once every 15 days sanitiz the kitchen sinks and dustbins regularly
  11.  Pest control in kitchen is essential especially to get away from those cocky cockroaches, fruit flies, mosquitoes.
  12. Scrub the cooking plat forms and tiles at least once in 15 days a clean and bright looking kitchen will make you happy and not force you to cook and when u cook food with happiness and love it will surely taste better J
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Few of us take to heart !

star fruit

The World Heart Day is celebrated across the Globe every 29 Sep.
A lot of educational programmes awareness camps, first aid for heart attacks etc are conducted. Several organizations organize Marathons and Walkathon etc.
But either we land up doing one of these or none thanking to “being very busy”

However this one day participation may not really make a difference except for helping few health agencies and companies getting your contact numbers and emails to send you news letters. Which again may be turned into ctrl alt del /spam.

How much do we really understand about health heart ?
Heart and mind work together and hence its certainly important not just to keep your self physically fit by working out, ensuring balanced nourishment, but its also necessary to feed some solace to your soul(for me soul is when heart and mind are in sync). But a very little thought is given to this in our current approach to healthy heart. You might find a lot of literature on 5 important things, 10 most important things or 50 things that keep your heart healthy. All these things have few things in common like, laughter, social forums, unwinding with family and friends etc. as important ways to reduce stress and keep you happy.

Happiness is state of mind. Unfortunately mind rules all our actions of past and present and leads to build pressure leading to a stressed heart. The current working patterns, competitions among peer organisations/employees, ambitions of organisations and employees and families are rising high.

This is a great sign of progress and achievements and we dwell in the life of high-end technology giving us a feel of super human being. Which is not true for varied reasons. The most heartening issue is of young employees (at least 60 plus decades of life ahead leaving the world ASAP because  mounting pressure work leading to traumatic stress levels.

I was reading a lot on five S’s to keep your heart healthy today,
Sedentary life,
Salty snacks
Sugary foods
Smoking/ substance abuse ( alcohol) and
Stress

My concern is more towards, how we keep your self Stress free? Which is key to produce good hormones that nourish and condition the heart and mind . Currently India is seeing a gradual rise in number of mental health problems on a rise and stress is one of the obvious reasons irrespective of background that builds stress.
I strongly feel and recommend that one needs inculcate these 5 C’s to make oneself Careful, Composed, Consistent, Contained and Conscious. This will lead to a more blissful life.

Careful : One needs to be careful in terms of what we eat, how we carry ourselves, decisions that we make at personal and career levels

Composed : Learn to be composed this will help us to remain unaffected by any kind of peer pressures, or high or lows in life at various fronts. We will be composed when we are careful in our decisions.

Consistent: One needs to strive to do a job/thing well and feel happy at the end of the task this will help us being consistent which will also improve the quality of what we bring to table. When we make careful decisions and not overwhelmed by our environments and remain composed consistency is born with in us even before we try to imbibe its powers.

Contained : This is one of the biggest things if we can try to achieved very easy to pen but extremely difficult to put into practice the desire to be happy with what we have. Being contained will certainly lead us to higher levels of happiness yet will give us more and more even when we do not want. Learn the art of giving , with true sense and it will give you more. Give more get more we can give only when we are contained with what we have and anything in excess you shall share……..

Conscious – A thinking mind, a conscious mind will lead to a true balance of heart and mind and when you are conscious you will have a happy soul. A soul that is contented takes us to higher levels of bliss.

A heartfelt thank you for reading this 🙂

Always wishing Pink of  health and heart to one and all.

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First Anniversary Message Note from Suphalacare Office Banglaore :

As we celebrate the First successful year since inception of Suphala Care on 5 Sep 2012, this also coincides with the National Nutrition Week in India (1 to 7 Sep very year)

After a lot of thinking and wondering what should be the key message from our office as part of Anniversary celebrations and National Nutrition Week. We realise that we have been moving from traditional foods to more ready to make and relish foods which do not nourish us in real sense except taking care of our tongue 🙂 !

Lets stick to the traditional foods with limited servings, as we do not exert ourselves like we did 5o years ago, when none of the current modern machines existed and all forms of cooking and means of transport and communications required physical efforts.

Basic Meal

In short : ” Eat traditional recipes, organic foods in whole forms , go less on fats, and small portions at regular times and do not forget to bend your bodies and enjoy your dose of physical training everyday !”

 

 

Lets make efforts to build a Malnutrition free India.

How can you contribute : Do all of these or at least one of these :

1. Cook how much you need and share if excess

2. Introduce healthy eating habits in your children

3.Do not waste food.

4. Say no to vacuum pack tins, packets and all plastic snacks and soft drinks

5.Help an undernourished child if you come across

 

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Thankyou All “Suphala Turns one today ! “

Dear Suphala followers, supporters and readers,

Congratulations We are ONE today !

Thank you for your overwhelming response and making this organisation strive towards our key mission of  creating awareness and educating on importance of health, nutrition and wellness.

The immense support group of 300 odd members on Facebook (Suphala care page )https://www.facebook.com/SuphalaCare and genuine readers and honest comments from readers on Linked in, Facebook and Suphala care website has helped us immensely in improving and providing customised services to our members.

This effort has helped us in harnessing and improving quality of life of 73 individuals so far, benefiting people from all walks of life namely, toddlers, working women,  individuals with chronic health conditions like, Obesity, Diabetes, Hypertension, Cardiac diseases, Hyperlipidaemia, Hypo and Hyperthyroid, Gastric disorders, Renal stones, Calcium and Iron Deficiencies in woman etc to name a few.

It was wonderful to see your excitement and active participation  in, I can cook workshops for kids and workshops for nutrition management of Diabetic and Cardiac patients, Pregnant, Nursing mothers, fussy eaters (toddlers) and geriatric.

Thank you one and all for making this I year a memorable one and hope to see many more of you joining us and reaping the benefits of healthy eating and nurture quality life !

Join us in celebrating a wonderful One year with us today!

Introducing Special offer as part of First anniversary and National Nutrition week in India :

Free nutrition counseling (online or offline ) customised individual nutrition plans and Wellness assessment. ( for first 50 individuals). Last date for booking appointments is 7 Sep 2013.

Book your appointments today, by mailing us at  info@suphalacare.com with subject line    ” your Name – Appointment date and time” .

Always wishing you Pink of Health !

Dr. Suguna Sapre

Wellness Coach and Mentor @ Suphalacare

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“Mid Day Meals progarm in India to nourish or perish school children?”

Since my internship days a decade ago at CARE Andhra Pradesh as Research associate for a community managed supplementary nutrition program. I have been witnessing a varied ways and means of  malpractice at various Anganwadi centres and Primary schools. Either the supplies are sold to other grocery shops or adulterated with local supplies of poor quality. Apart from this hygiene in preparation of these meals have been issues of primary concern, owing to shortage of fuel, water, poor methods of cooking. In few states children are lucky they are served meals that come from a central kitchen like Akshaya Patra scheme of  ISCKON   in Karnataka supplies  across all the government schools !

However none of these methods is barred from safe meal supply. There have been sporadic episodes of food poisoning reported every quarter from some small village or town  of the country leading to hospitalization of school children. Unfortunately what we have been watching and reading about the recent Food poisoning in a mid day meal at a primary school of Saran district in Bihar last Wednesday 17 Jul 2013, leading to the death of close to 20 odd children  and few more still in critical condition battling  for life . The deaths occurred by organo phosphorous poisoning key ingredient in several insecticides used in farming and domestic use), which was found in the  intestines of the deceased children following forensic test report.

How was Mustard oil used for preparing that fateful day’s meal was adulterer with this toxic chemical compound?

More questions remain unanswered .

The person who was preparing the meal did not recognise the smell of the oil even upon heating and changing colour of the soy curry to black?

When children were served the food, and few complained of black colour .However they were forced to eat what was served, why ?

Who does the quality check and tasting the food before serving ? Was the person checking food not aware of the smell and taste and most importantly colour of the food(soy curry)?

It’s an unpardonable and heinous attitude of the school authorities leading to death of innocent children for no mistake. While this remains as one of the most shocking incidents of mid day meal program failure there are  “11 crore children, benefiting from hot cooked nutritious food in 12 lakh schools” as per  mid day meal scheme( http://mdm.nic.in/)

 Where is the scheme going wrong I have been visiting this link for mid day meal scheme closely for past few weeks http://mdm.nic.in/ and realize its a herculean task indeed! The website looks great on par with any other private organisations website rather more robust with various details related to  this scheme. Unfortunately like all the virtual updates look great but when it comes to commission these schemes practically there are several impending factors.  There is no one method which will go fool-proof and show great success.

Focus of Mid day meal scheme (MDMS) initially was to attract children and increase their enrolment in school and meal was an incentive. But sadly this remains only on papers every state with its changing political powers and bureaucrats ignores this scheme as this set of population is not a vote bank and there are no gains what so ever even if used as an agenda for political wins. However leaving aside the political gains for once we need to realise that we need to take the MDMS more seriously with an important purpose of providing a happy childhood to all children which is their right ! ( basic education and nourishing meal). Leaders and governments in power should also keep in mind that todays children are tomorrows youth/citizens and lets nourish them and not perish !

Our heartfelt condolences  to all the parents who have lost their children in this tragic episode of Mid  day meal food poisoning!  

–  Suphala  Care

 

 

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Lets getaway with Zero cholesterol syndrome !!

I am so upset seeing all the packed foods specially Plant sourced foods labelled as 

No Cholesterol / Zero Cholesterol / Cholesterol Free!!

Hope not to hear a coconut seller claiming coconut water its Cholesterol free here !!

 It’s high time that we need to understand what cholesterol is and its sources! It’s surprising to see so many educated folks also making food choices based on this label.

Lets understand few basic things  which will help you make better food choices when u shop for food next time onwards !

1. What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a Fat (steroid lipid) found in the blood of all animals and is necessary for proper functioning of our cell membranes and production of hormones.

2. How is it formed in the body ?

 Cholesterol is formed in our body and there is no additional requirement of cholesterol . It is produced by the body as per the requirement and recycled in the body.

For a man of about 68 kg (150 pounds), typical total body-cholesterol synthesis is approximately 1 g (1,000 mg) per day, and total body content is approximately 35 g, primarily located within the membranes of all the cells of the body.

While surprisingly there is an additional 200 to 300 mg on an average cholesterol consumed from various animal sources by an adult.

3. What are the sources of Cholesterol?

CHOLESTEROL IS FOUND ONLY IN ANIMAL SOURCES :

Meat, Poultry, Pork, Fishes, Dairy Products and associated animal products (ready to use)

PLANT SOURCES DO NOT HAVE CHOLESTEROL !

Some plants make cholesterol in very small amounts. Plants manufacture phytosterols (substances chemically similar to cholesterol produced within plants), which can compete with cholesterol for reabsorption in the intestinal tract, thus potentially reducing cholesterol reabsorption. When intestinal lining cells absorb phytosterols, in place of cholesterol, they usually excrete the phytosterol molecules back into the GI tract, an important protective mechanism

4. What happens in case of excess cholesterol in the body and less of cholesterol in the body ?

High levels of cholesterol in the body is termed as Hypercholesterolemia. Leading to a direct impact on the heart. Excess cholesterol starts depositing in the arteries leading to atherosclerosis and blockages leading to coronary heart diseases and other cardiovascular diseases and many times cause of heart attacks. 

 Human body does not need any excess amount of cholesterol and its rare to find a condition with deficiency of cholesterol since it is recycled in the body.

5. How to reduce high levels of cholesterol in the body?

1. Reduce consumption of Animal foods

2. Vegan diets ( NO DIARY /NO FISH/NO POULTRY) have  shown great effect in reducing high levels of cholesterol in the body

3. Increase consumption of fibre rich foods, like complex whole grains, raw salads, whole fruits  and lentils.

4. Stop snacking from air-filled/vacuum packed and boxed processed foods , biscuits, bread and burgers as all these are high on Trans fatty acids leading to high production of cholesterol in the body.

5. Keep your self active physically, relax and enjoy your work outs or exercise everyday and not being forced to do so,  which will reduce stress that adds to increased cholesterol production in the body.

   Moral of the post :

Tomorrow some one forcing you to eat a cholesterol free ice cream please say no, there can never be a zero cholesterol ice cream.

Let be cholesterol in your Ice Cream eat once in a while if you cannot give a miss but don’t build stress because of cholesterol in it since already your body is building it day in and out 🙂

Don’t feel happy buying foods like corn, wheat, maize, nuts, lentils and rice  or oils for that matter with zero cholesterol labels . Marketers are fooling us, keep in mind unprocessed original whole grains , oils and all fruits and vegetables are free of cholesterol by nature. No one is making an extra effort for our health, its we who need to understand , learn and unlearn the food labelling gimmicks

Imagine if all types of plant and animal sources of foods were with cholesterol in them more than half of worlds population would land up buying statins (cholesterol reducing drug) to keep blood cholesterol under control.

Nature has its own  delicate ways of letting us know what to eat and how much to eat and any imbalance that you make in the body it triggers few in no time (sudden /Acute) while some gradually(chronic )!

Choose foods that will nourish you from inside !

Posted in Food, Healthy Heart, Nutritious Food, Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Special Workshop for Parents with Toddlers

 

Suphala-1

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India and Foods of the Foreign Lands

 

I have been on rigours tours of 3/4 days travelling around 3000 odd kilometres in Western Ghats of Kerala and Karnataka. Since these trips were family trips with a 3-year-old kid we made a point that we stop at decent hotels for lunches and dinners that serve hot food and  grabbed all coloured fruits and veggies to snack on the way bought from little hamlets bordering state and national highways. The flavours of sweet and sour totapuri mangoes laced with red pepper powder and salt was no less than a treat that one usually would enjoy with a packet of potato wafers rather I would say a wiser and zing choice. Jack fruit was another great snack that gave a miss for lunches on few rides   bright yellow  with sweet-smelling fragrance was surely no less than a black forest cake.  Star of the snacks was indeed Star Fruit with its aromatic and distinct tangy flavours added sparkle in the tours of course we never miss the humble Banana! Cucumber slices, Coconut water and sugarcane juices kept us well hydrated to brave the summer heat . 🙂

While we made a conscious food choices as a family. I realised that the interiors of these two states grow fruits and vegetables in plenty. I was ghastly surprised by the number of tiny outlets  selling all the top brands of soft drinks or thanda and all brands of junk snack rather call it plastic snacks in plenty apart from local breads, cakes and all sorts of biscuits . It’s an irony to see young kids in small hamlets buying a five rupee worth plastic snack and denied of fresh fruits and vegetables as they are sold in bigger cities and food factories for a ransom price.

Foods

 

A decade ago as a student of Community Health and Nutrition , I was studying Food Ecology as one of the subjects and had worked on few projects on tracing  food products from making to market and identifying the hurdles at each stage and methods to be adopted to curtail. However in none of the paths that I had traced neither the MNC market (never existed) and nor did the food advertisement had any major influence then.
Now I strongly understand to what level a food advertisement can impact irrespective of the economic, social,cultural and educational levels of an individual . Also thanks to the mini / economy  packs specially designed to target poor rural India 🙁

I was pacifying my self that ok at least we three as a family are not choking ourselves with these junk foods and with a hope that there would be many more like us………………………

Lets make a conscious effort to avoid hazardous foods and help our children in making wise food choices . This will also help them to nurture nature in true sense !

 

 

 

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What rules our food choices?

There are many things that affect food choices in terms of food economics and ecology however I have been observing and watching people around and I strongly  feel the following :
All that you need to make a healthy body and mind is –
fist full of carbs,
2 fist full of proteins,
2 hands full of fruits and vegetables and
a pinch of fat !
6-8 cups of water as per the need !
So what puts us from taking it up,
The Tongue and its Taste Buds make a whole lot of difference on our food choices !
So if you can mend your taste buds you don’t have to do anything extra  it works !!
All means of alternate foods and cooking changes mean you are looking for alternate methods to make your tongue happy !
Desire for yummy, comfort foods is accepted for kids and over the time treat your body like temple and cleanse it  and save it for long term healthy mind and body !
There can never be low sodium salt, or sugar free Rosogullas or  no baked chips will help you  !
All you need is to take control of yourself  as early as you can as a family !
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Wishing you all safe, healthy and happy holi!

Say good buy to synthetic colours ! kids from 2 yrs can safely play with the following and  in the light of acute scarcity of water I think this is the best bet 🙂 Boiled mashed beet root for Gulal (pink) and Mint paste for green and Turmeric paste for the yellow ! Turmeric will prevent any cold and infections as it has antiseptic properties if getting wet, green mint will keep u cool and a great cleanser in the hot season, beet root will add natural tint of rouge  such a sweet colour indeed ! What’s more absolutely safe even if these colours are ingested !

Fruit smashes are good too but might get mushy and invite many more creatures to join the holi 🙂

So go ahead and enjoy the herbal holi from this year on !

 

 

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Give your Honey some real honey to calm cough

There are several studies of the recent past stating Honey is best or equally effective in  treating and soothing cough in children compared to OTC cough syrups!

Whats more? Giving a warm cup of milk with a teaspoon of honey before going to bed. This will clear congestion and prevent coughs and aids in sound sleep in children. I have tested this my self for 6 months as my kid was often suffering with bouts of cough, cold and sore throat.

In Milk? Might be a question, but yes give it with warm milk and it will not cause any problem. Incase the child is asthmatic only then you can use honey with warm water.

Now which honey to buy ? What type? and How much to give?

I suggest honey without any flavours just plain raw honey. I have tried Coorg Honey available in several supermarkets in India, Girijan honey from Khadi bhandars, and Dabur honey all the three brands are safe and of good quality.

So make a routine add honey in your kids diet as a regular 🙂 Just give one teaspoon of honey in 1 cup of warm milk.

More on how it really works coming soon …………….

 

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