Sabtu, 24 November 2012

Ideal Weight for Healthy Living

Usually our idea of ideal weight is dictated by the images of the beautiful shapely bodies of models and celebrities. The size zero bodies of beautiful women may look attractive on magazine pages or on television screen. However, when you realize the harm that these women do to their health while creating the skinny body, you will be forced to reconsider your concept of ideal weight.

What is an ideal weight?

An ideal weight is one that keeps you healthy and fit. Health professionals do not emphasize on the term ideal weight, instead they focus on healthy weight. While diet and physical activities primarily contribute to the body of a person, there are other factors such as age, race, genetics, family history of body weight, environmental factors, behavior and metabolism rate that help to determine the body of a person.

Body weight vs. Body Mass Index

The ideal weight varies according to the stature of a person. Therefore, while measuring the body weight, it is necessary to take into account the height of a person. While the weighing scale displays your body weight, to determine the amount of fat in your body, you must calculate your body mass index (BMI), which is defined as the weight, measured in kilogram or pound, divided by the square of height, measured in meters or feet. The body weight is considered healthy, when the BMI is between 19 and 24.9. People whose BMI is below 19 and above 24.9 are considered underweight and overweight respectively.

How to attain ideal weight

To attain the ideal or healthy body weight you need a healthy diet and regular physical activities. Balancing energy consumption and energy expenditure is prerequisite for attaining the healthy body weight as well as for maintaining it. You gain weight when your energy expenditure is less than your energy consumption. By increasing the level of physical activities you burn the unused calories that are stored as fat.

A person is underweight when the amount of calorie intake is less than the amount of calorie used during physical activities. To attain the ideal body weight, an underweight person should slowly increase calorie consumption.

A healthy lifestyle will help you to maintain a healthy body mass index. A diet containing sufficient whole grain, fruits, vegetables and moderate amounts of animal protein is considered beneficial for health. A balanced diet combined with regular physical activities will keep you healthy and happy.

Sabtu, 10 November 2012

Yummy Quintessential Indian Dish - Sambar

Food with high nutritional benefits aids us to evade the risk of ailments. A common notion which is prevailing among people is that a highly nutritious food would not taste or smell good. The pre-conceived notion about nutritious foods can be broken down by typical Indian lentil based delectable vegetable gravy called "SAMBAR".

The Lentil soup - Sambar cooked with vegetables, tomatoes, onions, garlic, curry leaves and tamarind water along with spice enhancers such as chilli powder, coriander powder & salt; and seasoned with taste & flavor enhancers such as mustard, asafoetida, fenugreek, cumin seeds, ghee and coriander leaves. This unique blend of nutrients makes Sambar a highly nutritious food on the palate with a good source of protein, folate, vitamins, irons, potassium etc.

Sambar's unique ingredients combination balances the downsides of each other Sambar ingredients. Flatulence & bloating seldom would be the downside effect of protein, folate & dietary fiber rich Legume- without which Sambar is not possible, will be taken care by garlic and asafoetida which are blessed to mankind to overcome gastric problems.

Any other form of digestive problems that is not controlled by garlic or asafoetida like constipation, indigestion, stomach ache, piles etc can be overcome by fenugreek and cumin seeds with high medicinal properties and when taken continuously would help us to maintain good metabolism. Sambar is made more nutritious by adding vegetables which are rich sources of calcium, minerals, vitamins, iron, potassium etc,. Curry leaves added along with the vegetable is a good source of Iron and is predominately used to prevent premature grey hair. Anti - oxidant Mustard seeds and anti - inflammatory turmeric powder are added to enhance flavor, color and nutritional benefits to Sambar. Taste and flavor enhancement of Sambar is done by adding some ghee which, will act as a stimulant for digestive acids secretion and also will help to absorb fat soluble vitamins from other foods. Garnishing is done by coriander leaves which are rich source of thiamine, vitamin C & niacin. In addition to the above benefits Sambar's good Glycemic Index will slow down the digestion and absorption resulting in gradual increase in blood sugar and insulin level.

Tasty, yummy, delicious, lip smacking, quintessential Indian dish called Sambar is used as a side dish to dip for breakfast dishes such as rotis, dhokla, iddli, dosa, pongal, vadai etc and as a main starter to mix with rice for lunch and dinner, An amateur cook can make delicious Sambar easily by combining spices, salt, and tamarind in a correct proportion along with the above told other ingredients. Perfect spice blend off the shelf readymade Sambar powder available in market will aid you in easy and delicious Sambar preparation.

Rabu, 31 Oktober 2012

Popcorn Walnut Croquette, a Healthy Combination

Walnut is a weird-looking nut. I read somewhere that it looks like brain and that is why it is very good for the body. It is an excellent source of omega-3, Protein and Fiber. In this recipe it partners with the healthy corn and rice to make a crunchy and healthful snack.

Corn is another important ingredient in our day-to-day life. You can find corn in more than 5000 food products in variety of forms. Corn syrup, corn flakes, roasted corn, corn on the cob, breakfast bars, rice crispy treats for kids, corn salads and the list goes on.

The croquette is baked in the oven to form a crisp texture outside and it tastes nutty and yummy, thanks to the walnut. It is very quick to make and very difficult for your guests to guess the ingredients. So try it for a quick evening snack.


Popcorn- 2 cups
Walnut- 2 tablespoons(chopped finely)
Lettuce Leaves- 1-2
Coriander leaves- a fistful or Basil Leaves
Rice Flour - 1 Tablespoon
Green chillies- 2 Finely chopped
Cumin powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Lemon Juice- 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

Soak the popcorn in water for 10 minutes and squeeze out the water. Add the chopped walnuts, coriander leaves, green chillies, cumin, rice flour and salt. Mix well and shape them into oval-shaped balls. Add some more rice flour if needed. Put them on aluminium foil or baking tray (greased) and bake in a preheated oven at 400 till they are golden brown in color. This takes about 15-20 minutes. Take the croquettes out when done and let them cool. Add a dash of lemon juice, place them in lettuce bowls and serve.

This croquette tests really nice with coriander and mint chutney. Coriander, sometimes referred as cilantro or dhania, is an annual herb. It adds nice fresh taste to your recipe and mostly used to give finishing touch to your dish.

You can follow this recipe to prepare nice coriander and mint chutney.Use this chutney as a bread spread or as a dipping sauce with tortilla chips. I am sure it won't disappoint you.


Coriander- 1 cup chopped
Mint leaves- half cup chopped
Grated fresh coconut (or frozen)-12 cup
Juice of one Small Lime
Green chillies- 5-6 chopped
Salt to taste
Put all the ingredients into a mixer and grind them to a paste. Season it with salt and store the chutney in the fridge.

Jumat, 12 Oktober 2012

Fruits Before Meal

Studies have shown that eating some fruits or drinking 1-2 cups of fruit juice 20-40 minutes before meals can prevent obesity caused by eating too much. Because fruit or fruit juice is rich in fructose and glucose which can be quickly absorbed by the body to raise blood glucose concentration and reduce appetite. Crude fiber contained in the fruit can let the stomach have sense of satiety. In addition, eating fruits before meals can significantly reduce the demand for fatty food, it is indirectly prevent the excessive accumulation of fat in the body. However, many fruits such as persimmon, hawthorn fruit, almond, pineapple, and so on can not be eaten on an empty stomach. It is best to choose fruits which the acidity and astringency are not too strong, such as apples, pears, bananas, grapes, watermelons, melons, and so on before meals.

And it is difficult to achieve the effect of weight loss eating fruits after a meal. Because eating fruit after a meal is tantamount to eating excess sugar, this part of the extra sugar can be translated into fat and store in the body easily, and gain your weight.


According to research, the glycemic index of pineapple, papaya, bananas, grapes is high, slimmers should avoid eating too many of these fruit. Like apples, kiwifruit, lemons, plums, cherries, citrus, and so on have lower blood sugar, is the better choice of slimmers.


Most people believe that the fruit is rich in cellulose, almost no fat and protein, and uncontrolled consumption. In fact, this is a misunderstanding. For instance every 100 g of strawberries contain about 30 calories, if you like to eat strawberry and eat a lot of, the calories intake is staggering. Another example is to eat a half medium-large watermelon, intake of calories is about 680kcal, to be equivalent to three bowls of rice.

In conclusion, fruits are blessings from nature to human and must be utilized to our advantage. After all, it's cheap and readily available. As long as the methods are right, there will be a lot of results of fruit weight loss. However, we must not substitute fruits for staple food and dinner. After all, the fruit's nutrients are incomplete, if there is long term use of fruit in place of meals, there may be consequences and the whole will be in jeopardy. Above all, balance should be the motto.

Eating fruits can prevents obesity because they are rich in fructose and glucose. They also have crude fiber that will fill the stomach and can give sense of satiety. If eating fruits is done properly without over eating, it will results in weight loss. However fruits can not replace staple food.

Minggu, 30 September 2012

The Lowdown on Quinoa Nutrition Facts

For some time now, quinoa nutrition facts have been making rounds, enlightening people as to what a tiny seed like the quinoa can do for their health. People were apprehensive at first because not many believed that a seed could be a super food. Yeah, sure, you can maybe exchange it for grains because it's gluten-free but not a lot of people were sold with the preliminary quinoa nutrition facts that came out. But as with many things that start small, appreciation for the quinoa has started to grow, many thanks to the affirmations that quinoa nutrition facts got from various studies.

Understanding quinoa nutrition facts.

When you say that something is a super food, it essentially means that it is a lot of good for you. In the case of quinoa, quinoa nutrition facts show that it has protein, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants. It might not have vitamins but it surely has all other things covered to give you good health. It is particularly impressive for its protein content (quinoa is actually considered to be a complete protein) because it contains all of the 9 essential amino acids that the body needs for building muscle. It also has magnesium that relaxes blood vessels to promote lower blood pressure and fiber that encourages regular bowel movement to flush out toxins and keep your colon healthy. Studies done to prove quinoa nutrition facts have also revealed that the whole-grain form of quinoa is effective in the prevention and treatment of insulin resistance, diabetes, breast cancer, and atherosclerosis. Quinoa is also considered to be good for those with bacterial and fungal infections because it does not feed the fungi and bacteria in the body. Rather, it acts as a prebiotic and promotes the growth of good bacteria in the intestines. And because it is easily digested, nutrients in quinoa are also easily absorbed.

Making the most out of quinoa nutrition facts.

The only way you'll really be able to take advantage of the goodness that is quinoa, is if you'll actually include the seed in your diet. Fortunately, it should not be too troublesome to enjoy quinoa nutrition facts because quinoa is very easy to cook. In fact, it cooks faster than most of the other grains that you usually enjoy. You can even enjoy a puffed version of quinoa like cereal. No preparation. No mess. Just add milk. Quinoa is also a great add-on as a thickener for soups so if your family likes these types of dishes, you'll have an easier time slipping quinoa in your regular meals, and before long, everyone will be reaping the benefits of quinoa nutrition facts. If you're not sure what your family would like, you can try several of the many recipes you can find online that incorporates the use of quinoa. If one doesn't work, just try another one. Quinoa may taste different so it might take some getting used to. But when you do, you'll be glad to have tried quinoa because your family will be so much healthier.

Rabu, 12 September 2012

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup, a Healthy Recipe

Autumn has arrived in Charlotte and the weather is just perfect around this time. I often think why the weather is not the same year-round,and why are we made to bear harsh cold and heat conditions... but then, if you don't go through the harsh stuff you don't enjoy the good one! We may not appreciate it or enjoy it if we get it year-round.

The autumn harvest looks colorful with squashes, pumpkins and apples in abundance in the market. So I decided to make this warm butternut squash soup as it is healthy,delicious and just right for this kind of weather. I tried is for the first time, it was easy to make and came out really good, surpassing my expectations. The butternut, apples and onions are slowly cooked together and blended well with vegetable stock to form an amazingly aromatic soup. The soup comes out creamy and smooth in texture and goes well with all kinds of toasted bread. The warm soup is perfect when sipped in cold weather or on a rainy day and is sure to please your family...

Butternut squash is also known as Butternut Pumpkin in some parts of the globe, especially in Australia and New Zealand. It bears the same sweet and nutty taste like a pumpkin. It grows on vine. This fruit is used in variety of cooking. You can roast it, purred it for soups or mash it and use it in muffins. When grilled in whole and seasoned with spices, it gives amazing sweet and spicy taste


Butternut squash--1 (seedless,peeled and cut into pieces)
Apples--2 ( peeled and cut into medium size pieces)
Onion--1 (cut into pieces)
Ginger--1 tablespoon
Lemon grass powder--1 teaspoon (skip it if not available)
Cumin powder--1 teaspoon
Cinnamon--1 stick (crushed into powder)
Nutmeg powder--1/2 teaspoon
Vegetable stock--1 small can
Butter--2 Tablespoons
Sour cream as needed
Salt to taste

Take a wide pan and melt the butter in it. Add the diced onions, all the spices and fry on low flame as you smell the aromatic spices fill the air. Add the butternut squash pieces, apple pieces, mix well and add salt. Cover it for 8-10 minutes till the ingredients get soft. Cook for another 5-6 minutes and cool it. Grind it in a blender and serve it warm in a soup bowl. Add a dollops of sour cream and serve it with bread sticks or bread.

Jumat, 31 Agustus 2012

Juice: Canned or Bottled - Store-Bought or Not?

Is it really "what you see is what you get"? Certainly not, especially where juices are concerned. The brightly colored, eye-appealling labels (designed by professional ad agencies) all give the impression that the container's contents are not only delicious, but dripping with all the right kinds of nutrients that your body needs for good health.

In reality, nothing could be farther from the truth. You see, the longer any juice (fresh or not) sits around, the fewer nutrients and enzymes it will contain. They simply eventually vanish with prolonged exposure to the air, light, and heat.

If that isn't bad enough, most of the juices found on grocery store shelves actually have been heated (pasteurized), which effectively destroys any remaining live enzymes and most vitamins. Enzymes are deactivated when heated above 118 Fahrenheit. Flash pasteurization is done at 70 degrees Celsius, which is the same as 158 degrees Fahrenheit!

Oxidation is what is happening when you see a cut apple turn brown. It happens as the cell walls of the produce are broken and exposed to oxygen. While not all of the nutrients are diminished by this natural process, the phytonutrients are. You can reduce the effects of this process by drinking your juice the moment you make it.

One of the biggest objections to making fresh, raw juice is that it is so expensive. Well, if you have an inferior juicer, it certainly could be. But if you get the Hamilton Beach 67650 Big Mouth Pro Juice Extractor, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that it makes much more juice and that the pulp also is drier.

Pre-made supermarket juices are not bargains, because they no longer contain their original nutrients, plus, in many cases, they cost a whole lot more than homemade juice. Take carrots, for instance. Five pounds of organic carrots usually cost less than $5.00.

Were I to buy canned carrot juice, I would pay at least 33.3 cents an ounce. If I could choke it down (tastes awful), I would not be getting anywhere close to the nutritional value of the juice the organic carrots would produce, so it would still cost less to buy and juice the carrots. And those carrots would produce about 40 ounces of juice and cost 12.5 cents an ounce. That is way less than half as much. And the juice will be delicious instead of yucky!

Also, with freshly made juice, you can add an apple to your juicer to make the carrot juice even more delicious! And apple isn't the only thing you can add either. One of my very favorite juices is carrot-beet-cucumber. I gave this to my husband about 10 years ago for a couple of days when he had a serious respiratory infection, and it did the trick!

Oh, sure, some bottled/canned juices (not carrot though!) taste good, even if they have been heated, but then read the label and find out that, in most cases, various flavorings and preservatives have been added.

On a final note, if you are really interested in your health and that of your loved ones, juice frequently and eliminate all the soda pop that is so detrimental to you and your children.

If you do decide to get the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Pro 67650, you will have an easier time juicing because it features, as the name implies, an extra big "mouth," so that you do not have to cut up your produce into such small pieces.