Tag Archives: #Lifestyle

Five wonderful ways to make your life 10X happier and fulfilling!!

Image source: ‘5 Reasons Why Feeling Happy Depends on Your Viewpoint’ by Sally Stanleigh in bia.ca on Dec. 10, 2020.

That morning I woke up early. It was dark outside. The morning silence lay heavy. Crickets had stopped chirping and it was too early for the cock’s to cry out. Bleary eyed I peered closely at the bedside clock. It was 4.30 am. The weather already smelled of yet another hot summer day of May.

And then a fluttering noise startled me out of slumber! I propped up on the bed and strained to look for the source. There perching on the window sill and prancing around was my sweet little ‘angel’-cuckoo.

For a moment, I sat spellbound. It’s been almost a year since I last saw her in my courtyard frantically trying to troop in her two chicks, barely a month old; too agile to sit around, but too fragile to take care of themselves of their own. A flurry of thoughts woke me up nice and good. Outside the sky was beginning to pale as darkness slowly melted away.

Chores over, I sat in the veranda with a cup of tea in hand and wistfully gazed at the bird still perched atop the tree in the courtyard.

This time she was all alone!

Feature credits: ‘iStock’ by Getty images.

Somehow she reminded me of my mom, hard gritty and courageous, always ready to face the world squarely. Vivid memories of life with her are as fresh as morning dew even today . She would often tell us that every man is a jack around you and won’t be in two minds to deluge you with advices on how to get the most of this world. But all this will be worthless if you do not respect your curiosity and give a patient listening to your gut instinct. Nine out of ten times people will laugh at you more to make you cringe with helplessness and feel small for it helps them to assume privileged and great. Simply put, these people cannot muster enough courage to get what they want out of life.

It’s only years later after she is gone that I realize what she had meant then . The moment you let others stop you from pursuing your dreams, is the moment to say goodbye to them. Wish I had given an earful to what else she had to say at that time.

Much like the bird on the tree , she raised her siblings and bid everybody farewell when the time came. Its only after so many years that I could share a few more facts of life with you I wish I had accepted sooner. Everything would have been so easy!!

I agreed to approve of myself the way I was!

Image source: ‘Want to Enjoy Life? Don’t ‘Do What Makes You Happy” by Wanda Thibodeaux in inc.com

Whenever we are in a dark space emotionally, we naturally pick up a fight with ourselves and damn us for not being in control of things. Everything seems to spiral out of control and the more we push ourselves to straighten things up, the worse they become. On the contrary, when we feel okay and alive and kicking, we are more inclined to accept ourselves and appreciate the wonderful little things that life has given us and how terrific our body rewards us.

This made me realize that being successful is not about getting it done all the time. Its about getting right things done. Its about doing less but better. For once, I decided to befriend myself and felt proud of my achievements, no matter how tiny they were .

Essentially my perception of doing right things the right way changed all by itself. I just worked hard on bettering myself.

From moron to self indulgent: I found the impunity comforting!

Whether it is taking a long bath, scheduling morning leisure walks, following a regular sleep pattern or something as trivial as putting on a face mask, shaving or trimming the beard, or even watching our favorite movie, anything that we do to look good and feel good puts us on the right path; so’s how she would counsel me often in quieter moments, though she was always quick to add that self care meant differently to different people. 

Feature credits: ; ‘ iStock’ by Getty images

The point that I gathered, is that once we take some active time out for ourselves, our journey to a meaningful day begins right then and there from that very moment.

I figured out my boundaries!

When we draw our boundaries, we actually define our needs and what others around us expect from us. I took time off to do a bit of soul searching. I found my circle , enlivened it and realized that pouring too much energy into other’s affairs was not fixing things for me. It’s only then I figured out that I actually needed to love myself a bit more than the others.

Left with enough time and energy, I felt less resentful and angry with myself for situations gone awry and happier with what was left with me.

Thought sharing never felt so bewitching!

For me the folly of one track idea of thought sharing slowly changed hands from a deceitful obsession to a vent to pour out my disquiet. I realized that once I dropped my guards and stop bothering myself with revved up emotions, things began to smoothen out and happen the way I wanted them to happen in the first place.

Feature credits: ; ‘ iStock’ by Getty images

Contemplating and doing nothing always weigh heavily on us. I raked up courage for once, voiced my thoughts strongly, stopped weathering and revealed myself. Amazingly life thereafter took a turn from inept to pleasant and fulfilling. Talking about what is bothering or upsetting you always vents your repressed emotions, soothes your stretched nerves and leaves more space to do better things.

I learned to talk turkey and bump heads

When replying to text messages, attending calls, meeting friends and family and buzzing through social media does not feel like a huge task, its time to ring the bells. This is one tell tale sign that your mental space has convalesced for good. So, if you do not cancel plans last minute and actually enjoy being in touch with friends, you are definitely over the fence and no longer a fly in the ointment! Stay connected and feel that dismay no longer rattling you. Awesome miracles will begin to change your day.

Remember it is you who alone can decide who you are not once but every time with every action that you take, every principle you value and every rule you follow.” 

Feature credits: ‘iStock’ by Getty images.

I must have dozed off for sure for I woke up with a start! Somebody had rung the doorbell. The empty cup lay beside the chair. The sun had climbed over the horizon and the day was warming up. Instinctively, I looked out for the little bird. She was gone like a summer breeze; may be never to be seen again.

Days later as I pen these lines, I envy that little songbird. Her resolute flight from nowhere to my courtyard had unnerved me for a while. and reminded me of purposefulness and determination that I had vowed to myself but over the time had pushed into a corner. It reminisced me of all that I learned from Maa while trudging along the way holding her hands swaying from side to side as I grew up.

It gave me a cue to do a bit of soul searching and brawn to rewrite what had begun to fade out. I am also now wary of the pride that comes before the fall.

Thank you from my soul maa #The Mothers Day, for bearing me, rearing me and helping me to grow up to be the one I am now!!

He didn’t realize that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark.  —J.K. Rowling

SWEET, NATURAL AND SINFULLY DELICIOUS – TRY THESE 12 SUPERFOOD DEsSERTS FOR YOUR PEEPS THIS SUMMER!!

Creamy, gooey,  sticky and sweet desserts   with little or no milk, cream, butter or eggs? Sounds nightmarish for dessert lovers, right? But you couldn’t be more deceived! Decadent and simply delicious, these super food delights could be made without a hint of an animal product. Sparse in calories and dense in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, these foods have the punch to lift your mood besides lowering your cholesterol and reducing the risk of cardiac diseases and a host of health hazards.

New and improved lifestyle and eating habits have seen traditional desert favorites change into more appropriate versions. It is now possible for you to have your cake and eat it too”. These healthy desserts are here not only to satisfy a sweet tooth, but also be a energy packed fuel source to help you ride through the day.

Here are 12 top of the chart super food desserts that you can indulge in guilt-free.

Coconut Aquafaba Macaroons

Image source: ‘Simple Coconut Macaroons’ by Joyce Gan in onegreenplanet.org.

When you can’t throw-in some aged Parmesan or thick creamy burrata on any old traditional desert for an instant flavor enhancement, it’s time to get creative and think differently.

Of course, when it comes to decadent desserts, egg, cream and butter seem to make appearances all too often but would you believe that even a vegan dessert like cute looking coconut aquafaba macaroons, completely plant based, healthy, and high in protein could be just as flavorful and healthy? Aquafaba is the viscous water in which legume seeds such as chickpeas have been cooked. Due to its ability to mimic functional properties of egg whites, aquafaba is used as an egg  substitute in this vegan dish. To make these vegan macaroons, you need unsweetened, finely shredded coconut.  You want to reign in the sugar rememeber !! and finely shredded coconut  to hold together in whipped aquafaba. which works best with no more than two and a half minutes of beating when it starts to get foamy with stiff peaks.

Made without eggs, condensed milk, or any type of dairy, macaroons are a tasty treats and a visual delight. All the coconut provides healthy fats, which is good for hormone balance, skin, and energy levels. With base made of unsweetened shredded coconut, almond flour, Himalayan sea salt and pure maple syrup or coconut nectar, coconut oil and vanilla extract pitch in to take your bagel game to next level of flavors.

Strawberry & lime cheesecake

One of the most luxurious and delicious cheesecake, this cheesecake is packed with berries and super foods that are a warehouse of nutritional benefits.

Made with fresh strawberries in the summer when they’re in season, and frozen strawberries in the winter, this dessert is  light, fruity not too sweet either. You can pair it with strawberry sauce, chocolate, coconut, or pretty much any other fruit. A chocolate drizzle could be just as perfect for any occasion.  A fruity, dense creamy delight, you could indulge in this tangy lime accent dessert, where its weird sourness won’t let you turn away.

Shortly before serving, spread a little bit of whipped cheese cream on top if you couldn’t do without that silky delicate smoothness and decorate with the  strawberries. Sprinkle a bit of grounded cinnamon on top and serve with the raspberry coulis and you will stop frowning! It’s so light and refreshing.

Berry & Cashew Cream Dessert “Pizza”

Pizza for  dessert? Weird but you heard it correctly. Indulge your sweet tooth with this delicious, healthy dessert “pizza”. The fresh berries, hearty whole grains, and savory coconut make it a unique vegan dessert option that is full of so many nutrients to fuel your body. Layers of maple-cashew cream, toasted nuts and fruits make it the ultimate health dessert that has tones of awesome textures and sweet berry flavor full of frozen goodness. Try it for one of those summer barbecue parties and its sure will be a hot favorite to spice up the bash.

Yep! This tasty, healthy food packed with berry goodness, also happens to be vegan and packs in plenty of proteins from cashews, almond butter, and hemp hearts.

Grasshopper Pie

Image source: ‘Grasshopper Pie’ by Kristina Vanni in thespruceeats.com on 28/04/2020

This incredibly easy no bake dessert is packed with nutrition and is an indulgent treat that tastes more like a thin mint cookie in frozen pie form!

It’s super easy to make and boasts of a fudgy crust with a light-as-air minty cream filling which is fluffy with a  super fresh minty taste that’s not so overwhelming either!! Pair it with chocolate if you find the flavors too subtle and want that extra tartness to bring a zing of flavors- like in those addictive cookies.

And that gorgeous pastel green color is no food coloring but pops out of that super food protein medley! The protein powder is all organic, non-gmo, vegan and  gluten free. It  contains all the essential amino acids,18 grams of complete protein in every serving to be exact! Not to mention all the fiber, vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants each serving carries.

Try a few spoonful of the mint cream straight to your mouth before you even get around to pouring it on the crust. You could be practically drinking the stuff!!

Blackberry Poppy Seed Crumb Cake

Image source: ‘Vegan blackberry poppy seed crumb cake’ by Ve eat Cook Bake in pinterest.ch.

If you love crumbles, try this healthy version of a classic crumb cake with a wholegrain shortbread made from spelt (hulled wheat), nut butter, poppy-seed filling, fresh and sweet blackberries and laced with cinnamon. You’d love this because it’s forgiving and you could use a mixed bag of fruits to add zest to the dessert your way; even summer stone fruits like sliced peaches, plums or cherries could perk it up.

With a buttery crunchy topping, juicy veneer of strawberries, blueberries and blackberries and a soft airy inside, this crumb cake looks stunning and it’s super easy to make!

Chocolate Brownie Dessert Hummus

Dessert hummus is a blissful way to muzzle your sweet tooth. Loaded with nutrients, naturally sweetened and totally guilt-free, this healthy chocolate hummus tastes surprisingly like actual brownie batter.

The recipe works great as a dessert hummus platter with fresh fruit like strawberries, bananas, sliced apples, and raspberries. You can also spread it on pancakes, use it as a frosting for cake or vegan brownies, mix it into overnight oats or chia pudding or eat it straight from the bowl. The main ingredient in this brownie batter hummus is beans, and you could even try black beans, cannellini beans, hummus chickpeas or garbanzo beans. This is one of those deserts that could bowl you over with its tang of flavors.

Petha

Image source: ‘Delicious food of Raipur’ by Aarushi S. in budgetindianvacations.wordpress.com.

Petha is made by cooking winter melon (also known by the less appetizing name of “ash gourd”) in sugary syrup. Eaten as is or dipped in yet more sugar syrup, this delectable treat is made with winter melon and comes in different flavors and with unique add-ons, too. Discover the delicate flavors and natural freshness that comes packed in this confection flavored with pistachio, coconut, mango, or even laced with silky saffron. Winter melon is slated to have several health benefits, including easing off acidity and digestion issues. This soft fruity desert looks like dollop of crystal and is as pretty as it is sumptuous.

Ela Ada

Image source: ‘Ela Ada’ in myfoodmill. in on Oct. 4, 2018.

This is a snack that originated in the Indian state of Kerala and is quite popular as an authentic traditional delicacy made with rice flour, jaggery and coconut. It can be served for morning breakfast or even for evening snack with a cup of tea or coffee if you are an avid foodie and love sugary treats .Grated coconut and jaggery are nestled inside rice flour dough before being steamed inside a banana leaf wrap. It looks deceptively simple, but the banana leaf wrap adds another dash of taste to the little dumpling. Lightly sweet with a distinct fragrance, this is one perfect vegan dessert to cap off a rich nosh.

Banana & Chocolate Bread

Image source: ‘Eggless Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Loaf . Simple & delicious ‘ by Deba @PAB in passionateaboutbaking.com on Ap.29, 2019.

For those days when you crave for desserts but pull back for you are watching your weight as well, this all-time favourite cake made with ripe bananas & chocolate is your best bet. This dessert is an ideal eat on a day when all is not well or on a day you’re craving for comfort dessert! And, above all, it’s vegan and tastes just as good as a regular dessert. Combining the sweet flavor of ripe bananas with chocolate or cocoa powder, this dessert is very similar to walnut flavored banana bread. You could serve this dessert with a choice of frosting, but could also share it as a snack over a cup of tea or coffee.

Cinnamon Roll

Image source: ‘Cinnamon Rolls’ in bakefromscratch.com.

These pillowy soft and luscious homemade cinnamon rolls topped with a perfect cream cheese glaze are the quintessential deserts treat and so easy to make! A  delicious tasting cinnamon roll pairs in  raw nut and seed flours with  cinnamon spiced puréed figs and raisins- all pitched in. Roll up a batch or two and store them as a premade dessert in your freezer. They are so easy to slice when frozen and can then be dehydrated for a warmed “baked-like” texture.

Feature credits: kitchenstories.com

Always making for a perfect hit, this delight of a dish can lift a bleh day and carry it to a delicious end. So fragrant and not at all dry or crumby these cream cheese glazed rolls are simply delicious and make for an unforgettable flavor punch.

Coconut Cream Pie

Image source: ‘Coconut Cream Pie. The old fashioned way!’ by Barry C. Parsons in rockrecipes.com on Nov. 17, 2007.

A super food dessert version of the conventional coconut cream pie, this vegan recipe skips the cooking process and leaves out the eggs, milk, butter and cream too. Instead of dairy, rich almond milk and young coconut meat lend the dessert a cream pie-like consistency and is a perfect delight for those with big eyes for sugary treats when used with chia, coconut oil, cacao butter and Irish moss. In fact, this classic dessert is a hot favorite among those who love the earthy flavors. Coconut in the pastry cream filling gives it a refreshing burst of flavors. If you love treats with flaky crusts, thick and creamy fillings and a fluffy whipped cream topping then this pie is just for you!

Banana Cream Pie Parfaits

This vegan banana cream pie parfait is made with a buttery cracker and sweet coconut “crust”, layered with fresh bananas, homemade coconut pudding, and a dollop of whipped cream. Scrumptious, natural and low on sugar, this is one creamy dessert that you’d want to miss! You could top up your parfait with plenty of chocolate shavings for truly delicious afters. Simple and easy to make, this sweet, goodness loaded treat is any time delight especially during the spring and summer, when you’re looking for a yummy chilled dessert.

Feature credits: kitchenstories.com.

It’s never enough!!

The taste of sweetness is a completely natural inclination and reminiscent of our innate longing for gooiest, soppiest, mushiest and above all sugariest! While juicy ripe fruits could be our   first choice when reaching to quench this desire, there is no need to starve ourselves of sweetie delights that can spring a moment of happiness in our life. But then… there is always bias to abuse too much of a good thing. It would do some good if you could find a healthy balance between simple pleasures and excess, no matter how good sinking your teeth in a delicious dessert feels. All you need to remember; ‘too much of anything is bad and nothing works well if taken in excessive’. Going to extremes risks neck or nothing.

So, sit back after a hearty dinner, laze off and relish the magical sweetness of these delightful desserts – guilt free!!.

Looking for a good-for-me treat? Binge on these 12 delicious ‘cheat ‘foods and relish an ounce of goodness, guilt free!

For most of us cheat food‘ means ‘bad food‘ for it usually comes fat drenched, deep fried or oil soaked and with not so healthy breading that goes into its making. But that doesn’t mean that you can never have it. Enjoy it on days you plan to go easy with fat at other meals especially on one of those cheat days! Besides there are guilt free versions too that won’t play fiddle with your weight regimen.

For the most part, it is all about balance. Your nutritionist may confide; No matter what your fitness goals are, it’s not always a bad idea to indulge in good and rich food once in a while. May be this will encourage you to stay on your wellness track for long!”, And believe me, he couldn’t be more right! But simply switching to a burrito bowl from your regular deep pocketed meal and opting for rice and beans won’t do any good if you choose to keep the full fat sour cream and cheese intact. Instead this will turn into a nutrient dense ‘cheat’ and could leave you feeling the guilt over a nimble beef burger too.

Image source: ‘7 reasons why dieting is impossible for Arabs’ by Rayana khalaf in stepfeed.com

It’s so easy to bite into myths and half truths about nutrition that in the end you are left with far fewer healthy choices than you would imagine. From fruit juices to canned veggies, from muffins to whole grain bread, it’s always easy-breezy to believe that we have chosen wisely and made healthier food choices than they really are. Sure, you may know which foods are healthy and which make a better sense when it comes to getting on with your day guilt free. But do you know which ones pack a powerful punch of more than one nutrient and is one of the healthiest feel fuller foods? Turning to those grab and go foods aren’t any good either. Real trick is to eat real food to stock up and yet be on track all the times.

Nonetheless, since filling foods with high fiber and high protein means fewer calories per gram, you can pile up your plate without packing on pounds and binging on healthy cheat foods on your cheat day could really keep you on the move!

Here are 12 such choices that have made to the top, to let you know what to stock up on. Eat to your fill without eating less. And remember, small changes do make a heap of difference.

Pan Cakes

Source: ‘Fluffy Pancakes’ in eggs.ca

Beginning your day with a hearty and healthy breakfast is all about a dish that’s packed with vitamins, and proteins. After all breakfast is a big deal. Eggs, fruits and whole wheat toasts are good choices but it’s easy for your nosh to go south if you prefer heartier options. Traditional pancakes with maple syrup butter and strawberries, crispy and delicious waffles or that fluffy French toast with egg, all add up to calories and carbohydrates fast, especially if you add more butter and syrup after preparation. Fattier breakfast meats are just as bad, unless you are a vegetarian and prefer vegan food. Since it’s an important meal, a few simple changes could make you less guilty about it.

Traditionally two pancakes and four pieces of bacon contain 480 calories, 26 grams of fat and 46 grams of carbohydrates. On the contrary whole wheat pancakes and turkey bacon in the same amounts carry 289 calories, 16 grams of fat and 24 grams of carbohydrates. So, begin your day on a healthier note once you have picked up on your restraint.

Black Bean Burgers

Image source: ‘ Best-Ever Black Bean Burgers’ by Lena Abraham in delish.com on Ap. 17, 2020.

There’s nothing wrong with having a burger every now and then, but what is important is meat you consume with it . Grass fed beef ranks lower in saturated fats and has almost 5 times more of omega-3 and higher contents of vitamin-A and E as compared to grain fed beef. Prefer to have a home-made burger or even a multigrain one will do. Mash boiled potatoes and shallow fry them in olive oil, add lots of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, cottage cheese, and even egg if you like. Your home-made happy meal with high nutritional value and moderate calories is ready. Add half a slice of cheese and a teaspoon of mayonnaise, and experience the flavors take a new turn.

Sweet Potato Fries

Image source: ‘Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries’ in tablespoon.com.

Eyeing fries means  junk food with a burger but when you think of it seriously, the dish adds up to potato slices that have been flash fried, are a bit higher on fat and calories but render carbs, fats, fiber and vitamins  as required for an overall healthy diet. The bottom line though is that if you choose proper cut fries, fried in lighter oils instead of fast food version, they won’ be as unhealthy as you’d think.

You may consider switching regular fries for sweet potato ones as a healthier option but the truth remains that when deep fried, both are equal in calories. One great way to cut the calories however, is to try baked or roasted version with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of paprika to pep up the flavors.

A burger and fries usually make up for a great brunch though alone they aren’t  great in taste but toppings like mayonnaise and lean meat kick the flavors once dipping sauce options pour in. To make it more wholesome, swap beef for turkey and you have already cutback to 269 calories, 11.7 gms. of fat , 20.3 gms. of carbs and 4 gms. of sugar for each helping. You could eat two of these and still be under McDonald version.

Tacos

Image source: ‘How to Make the Perfect Taco’ by John Surface in sweetkickinsalsa.com.

Tacos are delicious, but too many condiments and use of fatter cuts of meat, or deep fried battered fish turn it into a sinful chew. Grilling a white flaky fish like cod and seasoning it with herbs and spices, or lemon juice instead, would help you avoid thebad for you’ fats and render the dish into a guilt free healthy alternative. You could even swap the taco for a pita. Serving with a dark green leafy salad would add fiber to your meal. If you’re still apprehensive, just remember that it’s only the traditional drive-thru tacos that don’t do you any favors. Topped with sour cream and cheese, and sides like chips and nacho cheese, these are a diet disaster. But a lighter approach will give you the flavor you want without the extra calories, fat and carbs. And above all, it’s the meat alone that matters and there is nothing wrong with having tacos every now and then.

Nachos

Image source: ‘Beef Nachos Grande’ in unileverfoodsolutions.com.

Make no mistakes and get one thing straight right away; there’s no such thing as a zero-calorie food though fiber and water-rich veggies like cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, celery, broccoli, and cabbage come pretty close, for they come naturally very low in calories. Try 100% corn baked tortilla chips with a lean protein, low fat dairy and heaps of veggies  like peppers, olives, jalapenos, tomatoes, onions, refried beans. Top off your dish with guacamole, salsa, and cilantro and you have a delight on your plate that gives the satisfaction of chewing plus a full belly. Use the topping to bulk up your sandwiches or omelette if you have no tooth for raw veggies. 

Wild Salmon

Image source: ‘Grill, Poach, Broil, Roast: How to cook wild salmon ‘ in thechalkboardmag.com.

Chicken gets boring at times. And if this happens to be one such times, simply look around for a source of lean protein that comes with a fat-fighting advantage. Salmon is one such good choice which helps in weight loss by improving glucose sensitivity, reducing insulin resistance and inflammation and speed up the oxidation of fat. Pack more punch to the dish by having a pick of roasted vegetables like artichokes, spinach, or broccoli, served alongside which all provide at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. Above all, you don’t need a ton of it to feel satisfied; still don’t ignore the portion size!

Pepperoni Pizza

Image source: ‘Pepperoni Pizza’ in 360bistrobar.com.

Cheap, filling and easy to reach, this is one huge go-to cheat meal. What more it’s delivered right to your doorstep even in the middle of the night? And oh!! It’s so delicious. But be wary of the crust, for this breading could wreck your diet plan. Cheese and meat toppings too are guilty and so is the accompanying sauce. Getting thinner crust and less cheese works well though. Try for once and you will wonder how on earth could this unhealthiest of cheat meals come up with a nutritional value no less than other options? But trust me, that’s what you get when the crust in your pizza thins out to a true dietary good boy! A flat out simple pizza topped with turkey pepperoni, onions, mushrooms and peppers yields 328 calories, 13 grams of fat and 32 grams of carbohydrates.

Spaghetti and meatballs

Image source: ‘Spaghetti and Meatballs’ by Betty Crocket Kitchens in in bettycrocker.com on Dec. 19, 2017.

This dish is as close to traditional Italian cuisine as it could ever get though unfortunately, tradition comes at a price of high calories and carbohydrates. Choosing a healthier option like vegetable pasta and turkey meatballs however, could scale back the worrying numbers and would allow you to enjoy your meal and not feel bad about it later. Just be mindful of the portion size for each serving of zucchini noodle pasta with turkey meatballs enriches you with no less than 440 calories, 15 grams of fat and 42 grams of carbohydrates. Cutting everything even by half will make a huge difference, and you won’t be deprived of flavors in the process.

Macaroni & Cheese

Image source: How to Create Your Own Signature Mac and Cheese’ by Sarina Petrocelly in ourcommunitynow.com on JUn.11, 2020.

If you do not intend to dine out even after a hectic work day or simply want to laze around at home on a wintry afternoon, macaroni and cheese is one good dependable choice that could lift your spirits. What more, you will be doing your entire body a great favor by doing nothing for once!

Typically made with a lot of milk, butter and artificial ingredients, you have already sacrificed a lot for the sake of noodles and cheese. Just be mindful of how much more dairy you add. And remember, this time you are not making any vegetable pasta! Still anxious! try a baked version for you get more for less without sacrificing flavors. One serving of baked macaroni and cheese has 297 calories, 9.7 grams of fat and 34.5 grams of carbohydrates.

Fried Rice & Egg Rolls

Image source: ‘How To Make Egg Roll Fried Rice’ in allasiarecipes.com.

One of initial fears in pursuing a plant-based lifestyle is that most of us find it difficult to give up the foods that we have enjoyed all our lives. But reality is so different! You enjoy more by recreating ethnic cuisines than dining out.

So, for once put your foot down and step out of the box. You could start by tackling fried rice and tofu eggrolls. Sautéed diced tofu in canola oil until light brown is a visual delight. Add coleslaw (finely shredded cabbage with a salad dressing) mix for that extra crunch and sauté’ till wilting. This filling wrapped into an open egg roll like a burrito and then heated and deep fried until golden brown, makes for one great dish to enjoy without feeling the regret later. Oven or air fryers don’t do justice if authentic dish is your choice. You could switch the tofu with another high protein dish or add crushed seaweeds to your egg rolls or even swap deep fried egg rolls for non fried spring rolls, if you want this to be your signature dish!   Be wary of the portion size though. Each 200 grams (1 bowl) serve of cauliflower fried rice contains 108 calories, 3 grams of fat, 14 carbohydrates and 1 gram of sugar.

Chicken Nuggets

Image source: Fond of crispy chicken nuggets? Here’s how you can prepare it at home’ by TNN in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on May 24, 2019.

If you are the one who is on various diets, you would understand the struggle of “cheating” in moderation. And more so finding the right way to do it. This doesn’t mean that you cannot bite into your regular pizza or you cannot have a ball in your favorite Chinese buffet. All it requires is finding a way to enjoy your favorite cheat food in a healthy way.

While chicken nuggets aren’t the unhealthiest of cheat foods, they definitely don’t offer as much nutritional value as other options. Nuggets with the breading make things still worse.

Each helping from McDonald’s has six nuggets and regrettably carries 270 calories, 16 grams of fat, 16 carbohydrates and 15 grams of protein. Not so terrible sounding!! but most of the people don’t stop at only six chicken nuggets at a time.  So make a baked platter of your own and you could get rid of all those extras. 188 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 8 carbohydrates and 26 grams of protein in six baked nuggets is what you get when the dish is made only with meat.

Raspberry Thyme Granita

Image source: ‘Raspberry-Thyme Granita’ by Cheryl Mussatto in eatwelltobewellrd.com on Aug. 10, 2020.

When your sweet tooth aches, it’s time to reach for … dessert! There are so many healthy versions of it and you don’t need much of it to feel satisfied. There’s actually nothing wrong with having a little sweet treat during the day. In fact, satisfying yourself with something delicious and nutritious is the key to ace healthy diet .

Feature credits: ‘KItchenstories.com” .

If you’re looking for a healthy, dairy-free light frozen treat, this easy to make raspberry thyme granite is just the right choice for you.  A super refreshing, slushy this Italian ice dessert  is similar to sorbet and what more, you could use raspberries, watermelon, blackberries, or even strawberries for this a zero fat- zero sodium dessert. A good source of vitamin C and fiber and a perfect alternative to overly rich, sugary desserts, this dish won’t let you go overboard on the calories. One cup (150 gms) provides 8 grams of satiating fiber and sets you back only 60 calories. Not creamy or decadent, this food is a perfect way to end a meal.

Cheat Food: An occasional binge is not a bad idea!

Cheat foods aim to help you stay motivated throughout the day and in no way harm your weight loss plan. Besides, they gives you a break from the usual food that you have been eating daily without craving for it. But you just cannot go about bingeing through the day as it will only undo an entire week’s hard work. This will only stir up more cravings, eventually losing complete focus. Excessive indulgence incites craving for these foods and it will be difficult for you to go back to restrained eating over the next few days.

So, choose the cheat food that you enjoy enough to give up the ‘sinful part’ of it. Loads of meals and snacks come packed as nutritional powerhouses. Just look for whole foods as first ingredients that are as simple as possible. It will be easier for you to choose among better- for- me options without too many sacrifices. And don’t forget the reason that makes a ‘cheat food’ so special.

9 incredible ‘meatless’ dishes that would leave you longing for more of these savory delights.

If you were to earn a dime every time you heard someone persuade a vegetarian to eat meat, by making him or her think of it only as paneer, I am sure you would have had a lot many of them. With only a distinct texture and nothing to boast of as flavor, paneer like chicken turns sumptuous once you put some sauce on it. Then there is butter paneer for those raring to attend a butter chicken night only to make eyes roll. You won’t feel deprived for a butter paneer or paneer kebab platter would keep the vegetarians on the table quite busy. Even McDonald’s has a paneer burger coated with cream sauce and shredded lettuce that won’t let you miss the chicken, for it look exactly the same. You could even imagine yourself as a vegetarian who after window shopping in upscale market and across food courts finally settles down for a baguette stuffed with tomato, cheese and half a green leaf. Not that they aren’t delicious but you would feel better if you fed yourself with a paneer stuffed naan.

Good news is that the world is finally opening up for fleshy, juicy meat alternatives that even  outsmarts paneer, tofu or chunks of soya. These flavorsome plant based proteins could often make you check out twice with the chef; “You sure there is no chicken here in this sandwich?”

Restaurant menus have also begun echoing the trend. From sandwich and wraps stuffed with fake meats to spaghetti served with mock meatballs you can lay your hands on trending meat analogues anytime and every time hunger pangs hits you. Chunks of mock fish in Sri Lankan curry and ‘chicken wings have all become a most sought after entrée’ dish across all Yauatchas and Hakkasans. Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are now household names.

While soy based products are meant to taste and feel like meat, veg. proteins has moved far and beyond. For starters there is Tempeh, the Indonesian fermented beans that come wrapped as condensed bars or blocks with a dense texture and flavor. It tastes better for those who find soya chunks too chewy. The ache for variety is gaining momentum and market size for mock ducks, vegan burger and kebabs is growing steadily. Vegetarian meats like chicken, mutton, prawns, and even meat liver made out of soya have found favor with connoisseurs and food lovers. Vegicken and ‘Super bean’ are the most fancied and trending foods today.

Interestingly, even if your idea of eating vegetarian meat is only an attempt to extend your meatless Mondays into a life style or simply to add variety to your spread, the trend of alternative meats is only going upwards and onwards. Faux meats are the newest amongst the drift foods and have quickly turned a hot favorite amongst food lovers and new age flexitarians.

How good are the mock meats?

Walk into any mid size super market and you will find a bizarre array of vegan food products lining the shelves, never seen before. From pastries to imitation “chorizo” sausages to Quorn –a fake meat made of mycoproteins,  from vegetarian “ham” to nuggets, from fake turkey and stuffing to steak and gravy pies, all are neatly stacked in the chilled vegetarian aisle Then there are plant-based “meatballs”, “burgers” and “deep fried chicken”. You could virtually wear yourself out making all the finger quotes that go into explaining these vegan “meats”.

It’s not that that the concept of imitation meat is anything new. Meat versions nuggets and hot dogs have merely found substitutes. For as long as people prefer vegetarian or too poor to buy meat, mock meat of one kind or another is there to replace the meat versions. Thanks to food techs many of these fake meats are uncannily realistic both in texture and appearance. From “flaky’” fish to burgers oozing with beetroot juice to textured pea proteins, all nail it pretty well.  It’s tough though to mimic the texture and mouth feel of ground beef, but meat alternatives also come loaded with coloring and textural additives. Eating these hyper processed meat alternatives is akin to a healthy diet, when accompanied with simpler side options like beans and high protein veggies.

Technology used to make fake meat has broken all fences, and so the products available today look, taste and feel more like the real thing than, say, the soya nuggets of the ’90s that retained their spongy texture and flavor no matter what you did. Most mock meats use soya protein, wheat gluten or vegetable substitutes like jackfruit and are considered to be healthier, offer more nutritive value, more fiber, lowers fat content, and no animal fat (which means no cholesterol). However, for those not big on eating red meat, the lack of cholesterol is not as significant a plus as it sounds. However, be wary of sodium content in fake meats. You merely need to balance out your daily consumption of salt and that should be okay.

The rise of ‘meatless’ meat

Meat alternatives are clearly having a moment and offering a clear vision of a different future for meat. Every year, billions of animals are raised and slaughtered on factory farms across the world (a staggering 9 billion plus in the US alone). You may have reservations about the alternative meat products and their leap to mainstream dining, but I think it’s time to sort the hype from reality. Meat alternatives aren’t new, Meant to feel and taste like meat these products are aimed to be marketed to meat lovers and replace some of those cruel meat purchases. Perhaps this is what makes them so different from veggie burgers, which have typically been aimed mostly at vegetarians.

There is no denying that veggie burgers are a niche product aimed to satiate vegetarians. But today the makers of meatless meat are betting they can find their way onto everyone’s plate. Whatever…finding animal-free versions of your favorite meats are a great way to recreate nostalgic dishes without horrid animal suffering and environmental degradation. Feeling adventurous? Give these meaty meat-free alternatives a try and may be you could find vegan friends in your town!!

Jackfruit ‘Chicken’

Image source :’Kentucky Fried jackfruit’ by Veg life staff in theveglife.com on May 5, 2017.

Vegan meat made from jackfruit comes as a ready to eat alternative with texture and looks identical to chicken. Microwave it for a couple of minutes with half a cup of water and you are good to go. This fake meat is pitched as high in fiber, seasoned, and evenly spiced. It pairs well with flat bread or could be used as a filling in grilled sandwich or tossed into a salad.

Soya ‘Duck’ and ‘Fish’

Image source: ‘Vegetarian Spiced Duck’ in https://everbest.my/vegetarian-duck/veg-spiced-duck.

Mock duck, mock fish fillets and mock pepper salami are sold as a pre processed faux meat that can be eaten grilled or sautéed. The products are made using soya, soya oil and soya protein, milk, wheat and wheat protein, and starch. High in fiber, some of these products do contain cholesterol from the milk and need to be frozen, and defrosted before use.

Wheat ‘Meat’

Image source: ‘Basic Seitan – Wheat Meat (Vegan Meat Substitute)’ by Deborah Mackenzie in allrecipes.com.

Quite a few crowd pleasing niche’ dining restaurants with a modern twist are  these days serving  burgers, sandwiches, salads, biryanis and a number of other ‘mutton’, ‘beef’, ‘duck’ and ‘chicken’ dishes made with mock meat created using wheat gluten, chickpea flour and flaxseeds

Vegan Fried Chicken

Image source: ‘ Fried ‘Chicken’’ by Yana Chistyakova in onegreenplanet.org.

Seriously! It’s meaty, it’s flavorsome, moist inside and super crispy outside. A seitan recipe this one certainly does not work like one of those ‘spongy fake meat’ recipes doing the buzz around. With no sponginess and just a beautiful tender meatiness, this chicken is of next level. Gram flour and plant milk is used to make the egg mix ‘clone’ and flour mix is gently spiced with old bay seasoning. The whole dish carries a vibe of buttermilk, thanks to added acidity of cider vinegar. This dish is a staple for most restaurant pantries serving vegan cuisine.

Shiitakes and Leeks stuffed Seitan Roast

Image source: ‘Seitan roast stuffed with Shiitakes and Leeks ‘ by Heather royal in Yummly.com.

A perfect centerpiece for your holiday table, this vegetarian roast is made from seitan (a soft ‘meaty’ food made from wheat gluten) which soaks up the flavours and juices of the seasoning and gravy. This easy and sumptuous roast is the perfect option for those who don’t want to miss a Thanksgiving classic dish. Flavors of fresh herbs and garlic and spilling meaty shiitake mushrooms and leeks would steal anybody’s heart. Throw in a handful of pinto beans and you could give the seitan a thick, juicy texture. The bread crumbs will help to keep the stuffing from ending up all over your plate

Perfect Homemade Seitan Steak

Image source: ‘Vegan steak with the happy pear’ in https://www.bosh.tv/recipes/vegan-steak-with-the-happy-pear.

Exquisitely spiced and remarkably resembling the ‘real thing’ these vegan seitan steaks are deliciously textured, super high in protein and carry heaps of oomph! Fry these steaks in a regular pan, while brushing extra marinade sauce each time you flip them. Within minutes, you have a perfectly charred, caramelized and utterly delicious steak to dig in. It’s super quick!

Vegan Turkey-Style Deli Slice

Image source: ‘ Vegan deli sliced turkey breast’ in 86eats.com on Feb. 7, 2020.

Bring your sandwiches to the next level with these homemade vegan deli meat slices! Moist, flavorful with perfect chew these slices are packed with flavor, easy to put together and cheap. Serve your holiday main course with gravy or sliced as deli meat for your favourite veggie sandwich. You could even enjoy a whole vegan turkey loaf with all the vegan fixings like potatoes, scalloped potatoes, mushroom gravy, stuffing, roasted veggies and Brussel sprouts, butternut squash, Mac and cheese, fresh buns, green salad and cranberry sauce.

This vegetarian turkey dish is made using vital wheat gluten and chickpeas, not tofu. Yes! Real meat turkey roasts are good, but even this one too has texture of a turkey and chews awesome!

Spicy Tempeh Breakfast Sausage

Image source: ‘Spicy tempeh breakfast sausage ‘in yummly.com/recipes/tempeh-breakfast.

This is a great vegan, cholesterol-free alternative to pork breakfast sausage. It’s very easy to make and can fill you up fast on a quick weekday breakfast. The secret of this sausage lies in it’s the spice profile. Don’t be fearful of that intimidating list of spices. Just reach into the spice rack and begin creating a master dish. In fact, savory tempeh breakfast sausage patties are the perfect way to kick start a new day. One great way to start the morning!!… snacking straight out of the fridge or routine busting ‘breakfast for dinner’.

This healthy, oil free food yields the perfect no oil ‘fried’ patties. Yet another thing that makes it so distinctively smart and tempting is the tempeh base which is processed with onion and mushroom using the binding of seitan.

Chicken-Fried Seitan Cutlet

Image source: ‘Best vegan chicken’ by Edgy Veg in theedgyveg.com on Aug. 4, 2020.

Crispy Vegan Chicken Cutlets that taste just like the real thing! These vegan chicken-style cutlets are made with chickpea seitan, which combines the chickpea with wheat gluten for a tender yet chewy and almost flakey cutlet. Pair them with a carb and a veggie for a hearty “meat and potatoes” dinner plate. Easy to make, this comfort food is perfect to use in any recipe that calls for chicken!  A complete plant based, protein packed nutrition, it is an easy meatless way to a ‘meaty’ meal that you will love to sit back, relax and eat happy.

‘Meatless’ alternative: Is this end of road for big meat?

The ubiquitous presence of faux meat in departmental stores could probably make you wonder what meat really is. Is our love for real meat really all about a set of nutrients? A certain flavour or texture? Or the desire for shared meals on special occasions, such as Christmas turkey and Easter lamb? Howsoever you judge things; one thing could weigh heavy on the way you look at things. Increased longevity and reduced disease risk comes from plants instead of animals.

As it turns out switching from animal based protein to vegan protein could have a positive effect on your wellbeing and health. The good news is that there are lots of protein rich alternatives to regular meat to experiment with. Besides you could do your bit in taking off the edge from a mindless cruelty to those miserable animals being slaughtered as fast as they are bred for a morsel of real meat, when surprisingly key amino acids are made by the plants and not animals? Real meat provides essential amino acids because the animals acquired them from plants at some point along the food chain. It simply doesn’t make sense to say we can’t get essential amino acids from plants—it’s where they come from. If we can replicate some tastes and textures that are free of pain and harm to someone or anyone, well why not?

So, get acquainted with the best meat alternatives out there for these can work in any meal where you look for meat based protein. Sliced, diced or whizzed -vegan stews, curries, soups and salads, a host of these tasty meat free alternatives will keep you feeling full.

Above all, pat your back for you can now be meaty’ while being nothing likeactual meaty’.

This super food is all grass and funky but has the magic to power you through life!!

If you are wondering how to bring some oomph to your plate with a pep-up dish that is thick and flavorful and packed full of goodness without having to worry about the belly size, a plat du jour created out of this wonder grass could be the right choice for tonight’s menu.

Yeah, It’s the bamboo shoots and they hymn health and wellness only!! Looking for flab loss or following ketogenic diet, packed with good amount of fiber, potassium, manganese and antioxidants these wonder shoots are your best bet when it comes to bone to brain health.

A plant with a thousand faces, this green gasoline of life is ranked among the five healthiest foods that are rich in nutrients, high on bioactive compounds, low in fat and calories and free from residual toxicity. Considered delicacy in up-scale markets, specialty restaurants and five stars dining, shoots from this golden grass are a common sight in Asian dining.

We all know that what we eat has a huge impact on our health. Eating poorly can lead to disease or shortened life span. “I’d say that 50% to 70% of suffering could be eliminated by what people eat and how they move. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension all can be impacted,” sounds Elizabeth Somer, nutritionist and author of “The Essential Guide to Vitamins and Minerals.”

There are so many aspects of bamboo that make it different from other veggies and organic super foods, all well thought out and orchestrated by both chefs and nutritionists who extensively study health. Considered complete food because of the rich contents of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, fibers, and minerals and very low fat, bamboo juvenile shoots herd in more punch than usually believed. Phytosterols in young shoots when consumed are meant to make you feel sprightly and feisty and lend longevity to regular consumers! Phytosterols are similar in structure to cholesterol and are extensively found in plants.  Their presence in fresh or fermented bamboo shoots is very prominent.

Freshly collected these shoots also have good amount of thiamine, niacin, vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin E. The bamboo shoot based diets are rich source of dietary fibers, less cholesterol contents and contain 17 amino acids, 8 of which are essential for human body. Very little amount of fats and its low content makes them ideal to provide healthy nutrition to people with diabetic and cardio thoracic diseases. Low on glycemic index, the fermented bamboo shoots are also a hot favorite among those with GI and sugar related debility.

Here’s a magical food for your skin!!

Bamboo leaves, shoots and roots are a unique source of natural silica and vitamins B and C. Bamboo leaves used topically or consumed as tea, boosts healthy hair growth and skin collagen. Using regularly would ensure young, firm and smoother skin tone! You could even try one of these remarkable remedies to rejuvenate your skin and looks.

Bamboo leaf solution pack

Brew bamboo leaves in a cup for water for 5 minutes. Sieve and apply once cooled. Wash off after 15 minutes. Great source of natural silica, bamboo works wonders in collagen production and skin cell renewal.

Bamboo and rice water pack

Mix boiling rice water in brewed and sieved bamboo leaf solution in equal proportions and use over face and neck once cooled. Wash off after 10 minutes. Rich in silica and vitamin-C this pack has high anti aging property and is extensively effective in reducing fine lines and age spots.

Bamboo water toner

One tbsp of bamboo leaves boiled in a cup of water and sprayed once cooled works as a quick and nutritious hydrating agent, just anytime on the go. A perfect skin toner, this  is your best bet when you are looking for a quick remedy for tightening face pores and brightening dry and dull skin.

Bamboo honey mask

Mix some honey in brewed bamboo leaf solution and allow it to cool down. Apply it over the face and neck and wash it off after 15 minute. The difference will leave you wondering why the heck you didn’t try it before.

This super grass is a wellness warehouse!!

Bamboo tends to be much more than a restaurant. This weekend you have seen fresh bamboo shoots arriving at grocery counter in your neighborhood and found yourself wondering what one could do with these! Or, looking at a big pile of bamboo shoots in Produce department, you aren’t even sure what they are meant for.

Bamboo shoots are young, edible parts of the bamboo plant that spring out of the ground in the same fashion as asparagus. While some varieties are bitter and tough, a few others are sweet, tender, and much more abundant. Fresh bamboo shoots have a very delicate flavor, which is why it is often fermented first before being used for cooking. A storehouse of fiber and energy, these wonder shoots are extremely beneficial to strengthen the immune system and fight bad cholesterol, aid the digestive system, help lower the blood pressure and has an extra punch for those looking to shed some extra pounds.

Extremely low in calories and sugar and high on health benefits, bamboo shoots top the chart for many nutritionists as one of the most favored super food! You might have tried out canned bamboo shoots, but nothing compares to the fresh stuff. Some varieties are quite faintly bitter while others may be stronger. Blanch them in boiling water for a while and then soak in clean water for hours. Change water twice or three times before they are rid of bitter taste and are ready.

So, if you want to experiment with a new ingredient in your kitchen, here are a few delicious finger licking good bamboo shoot recipes you can try.

Bamboo shoot stir fry

Image source:’ Stir Fry Bamboo Shoots” in cooktube.in.

This recipe is prepared from the stemmed out bamboo shoots. This stir fry dish is a simple one that can be prepared on a weekday for dinner or packed away for lunch boxes. Serve flat bread as a side dish with rice and curry, they all pairs so well with this nouvelle cuisine!

Braised bamboo shoots with soy sauce and sugar

Image source: ‘Braised bamboo shoots in sweet soy sauce’ by Wendy Kiang-Spray’ in wendykiangspray.com on Ap.22, 2017.

Spring is round the corner and fresh bamboo shoot will be out soon. It’s one magic ingredient that is used in soups, stir-fries, stews, hot pot, salad and pickles. You can’t image how popular it is in the Far East. Add some to your pickling jar or to a pot of healthy meat analogue soup and I am sure you would love it. Try it in salad or fry with vegan meat and almost everyone in the family would love it.

Stir-fried mushrooms and bamboo shoots

Image source: ‘Stir Fried Mushrooms and Bamboo Shoots’ in pininterest.com.

This is a quick and easy dish that combines tinned oyster mushrooms, tofu puffs, bamboo shoots and bean sprouts in a light sauce. Yet another variant is oyster and soy sauce enriched mushrooms served with stuffed bamboo shoots and cabbage that could leave you wanting more. You could even try stuffing bamboo shoots with the pumpkin or the winter melon and cut horizontally into 4 -5 portions before the serve.

Braised bamboo shoots soup

Image source: ‘Bamboo shoot miso soup recipe’ in misosoup.site on Feb. 14, 2019.

Fresh bamboo shoots make incredibly flavorful, clear soup with few ingredients. The flavors and natural sweetness come straight from the fresh bamboo shoot. With fresh ones you can even play around with shapes. They are easy to cut out and will even please the youngest of your family. Children tend to eat more or at least try their favorite shapes; a heart or bunny actually tastes better than a rectangle or round piece!!

Sometimes a simple recipe tastes best when you’re exploring a new ingredient in the kitchen. This one could be a good introduction of an amazing grass to your Wok.

Seasonal salad with bamboo shoots

Image source:’ Bamboo shoot salad’ by azianswagz in pininterest.com.

A simple salad is always a good way to enjoy fresh, local food. This one has just a few ingredients, and allows the flavors of the sweet peas, kale, and bamboo shoots to really stand out.

Talk of flavors; fresh bamboo shoot has a very delicate one, which is why it is often fermented first before being used for cooking. During the fermentation, pungency builds up which when paired with chilies, oil and other ingredients creates a moreish salad dish. You could use this to create curries pickles and stir-fries of your choice as well.

Vegan dumplings with bamboo shoots

Image source: ‘Around the World in 7 Vegan Dumplings’ in onegreenplanet.org.

These little parcels do deliver – and they’re fun and so easy to make! When finely diced, bamboo shoots add the perfect bit of crunch to steamed or boiled dumplings. Serve these up with some spicy chili sauce and a light side salad or edamame or with a dipping sauce such as black vinegar, soy sauce, plum sauce, sweet and sour sauce or sweet chili sauce.

Bamboo Spring rolls

Image source : ‘Bamboo Shoot Spring Rolls’ in unileverfoodsolutions.co.id.

Stuffed with a mixture of bamboo shoot, carrot, string bean, mushroom, shallot, garlic, ginger, celery, and leek, these spring rolls so fashioned out that there can’t be leftovers even for a single-bite.

Edamame bamboo shoot stir fry

Image source:’ Edamame Bamboo Shoot Stir Fry’ by Melissa Tedesco in onegreenplanet.org.

The balanced flavors and ingredients give this 10 minute edamame bamboo shoot stir fry all it needs to replenish your body. It is a great alternative to getting takeouts on busy nights, for this one travels fast from pan to platter. Fill your home with the amazing aroma of ginger and your belly with a wholesome dish.

Fried rice with bamboo shoots

Image source: ‘ Bamboo shoot fried rice’ by J Sujatha in beta.lekhafoods.com on Dec. 20, 2012.

This dish can also be made with leftover rice and whatever veggies you have in the fridge but stir fried celery, mushrooms and green capsicum  seasoned with soy sauce and then mixed with pre cooked chilled rice elevate this dish to one bursting with flavors. Mix in the onion, garlic and cottage cheese or eggs and you have an indulgent dish at your table. ‘Boil in bag’ rice and a bag of stir fried veggies could even cut back the prep time. If you don’t have snow peas, even regular frozen ones wouldn’t tweak the taste. Add a bit of extra soy sauce at the end and enjoy!

Bamboo shoot curry

Image source: ‘How to make Bamboo Shoot Curry – A Sikkim Delicacy (Vegan – Gluten and Dairy Free)’ by Jyoti in youtube.com on Aug. 31, 2019.

Bamboo shoots aren’t just for pandas anymore! In fact, fresh bamboo shoots are considered quite a delicacy. Stir fried minced garlic, onion, red chili, mustard seeds and curry leaves, once mixed with bamboo shoots and coconut paste and then simmered on medium heat for 15 minutes leave behind a thick, bright colored mouthwatering curry with a leafy aroma. Add rice flour/ powder for an earthy texture to this delightful flavorsome curry.

Bamboo shoot n’ pumpkin flower curry

Image source: ‘Bamboo shoot n’ pumpkin flower curry’ in delightsum.com on Mar. 4, 2020.

One of the revered traditional family recipes, this one tastes delicious and is ready in flat 20 minutes. The combination of pumpkin flower and bamboo shoot with tangy mustard flavor makes the dish more rich and heavenly. It goes well with flat bread, paratha (type of South Asian flat unleavened bread resembling a small naan that is pan fried or  baked in a tandoor ) or steamed rice.

From harvest to table- The super food effect is unmistakable

From vegan chops and cutlets to chicken red curry, fish curry, beef and bamboo shoot curry, shrimp curry, pork and bamboo shoots recipe; this wonder veggie pairs so well  with a flexitarian diet, when it comes to eating for your wellness being. With just 13 calories in a single cup, bamboo shoots are a great choice if you’re looking to lose weight. Fiber in shoots moves through the body slowly and promotes satiety between meals to curb cravings. Low in calories and high on fiber, this grass does support weight loss.

Besides, eating more fiber improves digestive health too. In fact, it helps in preventing acid reflux, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis and stomach ulcers. Adding bamboo shoots to your diet could potentially reduce cholesterol levels too. Some canned varieties, though may be high on sodium. So, if you’re following a low-sodium diet, look around for low-sodium products whenever possible or rinse off the shoots thoroughly before consuming. For the uninitiated, bamboo shoots are the power kegs that come loaded with nutrients and are a healthy alternative to rice and wheat.

Whatever… for once try these Woks of Life recipes. It’s hard to believe but these shoots could actually be good for your wellbeing. Dig into a savory, umami filling of shiitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and carrots wrapped inside layers of bean curd skin, steamed, pan-fried or braised. When sliced, you could almost swear it looks like slices of Chinese roast duck!

But just because this “duck” is vegan, doesn’t mean it’s any less super special to be on your dinner menu tonight!!

These diet friendly low calorie vegan curries could bring singing flavors and layers of happiness to your plate!!

If you are wondering how to bring zing to your plate in 20 minutes with something that is thick and flavorful, is packed full of goodness and is free of heavy animal products, delicious vegan curries could be the right choice for tonight’s menu. If you’re counting on calories, these guilt-free curries all come under 400 calories and still pack flavors. So put down that take-away menu and try one of these low-calorie protein rich curries instead. Vegetarian and low on spice these incredible curries will leave you bewitched!!

It’s hard to believe but curries could actually be good for your wellbeing. From easing arthritis to protecting from Alzheimer, the list is surprisingly overwhelming. If you look at the medicinal effects of spices that go into curry making; turmeric, cumin, allspice, cardamom, ginger, garlic and capsicum all are fired with strong anti-bacterial properties. Working as good preservatives garlic, cinnamon and cumin could even get rid of 80 percent of meat borne bacteria while ginger slows down bacterial growth by as much as 25 percent.

So what’s there that make vegan curries so good when it comes to minding your health. Why are these respected as an all time pepped up feast that never falls flat?

Let’s find out;

Ginger

One of the main ingredients in a lip smacking vegan curry, ginger contains antioxidant zingerone that reacts with radicals which cause tissue damage and joint inflammation, Works well to relieve the arthritis pain! The other two antioxidants viz. gingerol and shogaol are traditional cold remedies and works best when consumed as raw ginger extract.

Curcumin

This is  a primary active compound of turmeric found in curry powders, and often used neat, it slows down the plaque formation in the brain, the primary cause of Alzheimer. Strong on anti inflammatory properties it pairs well with GI tract, guards against heart attacks and prevents cancer of the colon.

Onions

Onions contain an agent called diallyl sulfide that encourages the body to make more of the cancer-fighting molecule glutathione-S-transferase. These enzymes work to detoxify the harmful stomach bacteria and promote digestion.

Garlic

Besides helping in lowering cholesterol, garlic also contains a potent anti-cancer agent called Allicin that shields stomach from cancer by pushing the production of protective enzymes.

Cumin

Cumin contains phytochemicals that combine with vitamins and other nutrients in food to prevent cancer and heart ailments by blocking various metabolic pathways. Caravel and Limonene, two major anti carcinogen agents retard the growth of prostate cancer.

Allspice

Allspice also known as Kabab Chinni is a berry-based spice used in a lot of Indian cooking and contains eugenol, an antioxidant that builds up trypsin a digestive enzyme and so are all friends to GI tract.

Capsicum

Capsicum the main phytochemical found in red peppers is an anti inflammatory agent  which helps reduce cholesterol formation and also a major constituent in topical formulations for arthritis relief. Eating it raw though doesn’t always work the same way.

Cardamom

A strong antiseptic and antimicrobial spice, cardamom comes in seeds, is a mild aphrodisiac and helps in soothing an irritable intestinal tract.

Coriander

Considered a strong anti-inflammatory agent this spice is capable of reducing symptoms of inflammatory GI tract diseases.

These one-pot curries know how to pep up your menu!

More often coming in bright golden hue and complex flavors, curry is an amazing choice for so many reasons. It warms you up, make you feel full and adds some zing to your plate. And there is a bonus too! It’s quite healthy and wholesome. Scoring big over Paleo recipes, curries could probably win you over if vegan diets become more your thing. Yep, there are whole lots of plant based curries that are easy to make and quickly leave the cooker. Just one pot or pan and flat 30 minutes could whip up flavors that may leave you looking for more!

If the thought of ethnic food stirs you up and if the idea of stepping out of the box no longer intimidates you; its time you tried a perfect Indian curry dish. If you have experienced Indian food, you know just how delicious a vegetarian dish could be! If you haven’t, curry is the perfect recipe to start with at home. Yeah!  And if you do Meatless Mondays, this could work up a terrific fare. It is so healthy and there are so many vegetarian variations you could do with it; just about any veggie works well.

Here are 12 crazy delicious vegan curries to tickle your fancy and tempt you to fix some space for one of these on tonight’s dinner table !

Red Lentil ( Masoor dal) Curry

Image source: ‘Healthy Low-Sodium Red Lentil Curry’ by Susan Edelman in onegreenplanet.org.

No one wants to spend the evening washing a pile of dirty dishes. No worries!! You can cook this curry in only one pot. Even better, you can have this flavorful curry on the table in less than 30 minutes.  I can’t think of a better way to eat dinner than this quick, healthy, and delicious one-pot curried lentil recipe!

With 126 calories per serving of 1 cup (100 grams), this curry has 6.2grams of protein, 4.2 grams of fats, 416 mg. of sodium, 15.9grams of carbs, vitamin A and C, fatty acids, amino acids, 28 mg calcium and 1.9 mg of iron.

Pigeon pea Curry

Image source: Cumin-Scented Pigeon Peas with Mango (Mango Curry with Toor Dal)’ in tastespace.wordpress.com on April 21, 2012.

Pigeon pea( Dal in Hindi)  is easily known and referred to as split pulse (lentils, beans or peas). This curry bets on yellow peas, blending alongside the flavors of cumin, mustard, onion, chilies and fresh ginger. A brilliant go-to dinner recipe on lazy, gray days, this curry is cheap, healthy, flavorful and heavy on protein and goes easy on fat. Complete with exotic flavors a bowl of this warm filling curry tastes amazing and is good enough to become your daily staple food. Each 100 grams serving contains 3.3 grams of fat, 16.9 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber and 6.9 grams of protein, < 0.1 gram of salt and 439 mg of potassium. What more could you ask for?

Coconut Quinoa curry

Image source: ‘Vegetarian Green Coconut Curry with Quinoa’ by Kristen Stevens in foodandwine.com in Feb. 2014.

This recipe requires one pot only; your slow cooker. Just pitch in some sweet potatoes, broccoli, quinoa, chickpeas and coconut milk into your slow cooker along with some spices, and turn it on. Flat 30 minutes active time in kitchen and a delicious aromatic treat is ready!. Each 100 gram serve carries 140 calories, 4.00 grams of proteins, 5.70 grams of fat, 14.40 grams of carbs, 2.50 grams of fiber besides 2.90 grams of sugar and zero cholesterol.

Curried Quinoa with Butternut squash and Chickpeas

Image source: ‘Squash, Spinach & Chickpea Curry with Turmeric Blend’ by Lisa Turner in cleaneatingmag.com.

Butternut squash is a hearty and super healthy way to add some oomph to plant-based recipes like this one. It’s a perfect 25 minute star dish for weeknight dinner and great for getting rid of any veggies hanging around your fridge. Once done garnish the dish with fresh parsley and you’re good to go. Try this curry with rice and naan, though brown rice particularly tastes good with this curry. Each portion (245 grams serves 4) carries 236 calories, 36.5 grams of carb, 6.5 grams of protein, 8.2 grams of fat, 105 mg of calcium and 3 mg of iron besides 602 mg of sodium and 683 mg of potassium.

Coconut Chickpea curry

Image source: ‘Easy Chickpea Coconut curry soup’ in cearaskitchen.com on Jan.24, 2018.

This curry is one healthy source of fat that could leave you feeling full and satisfied. Throw in some chickpeas, coconut milk and fresh veggies and you’ve got a super healthy meal to tide you over. If you are searching for a curry recipe that is heavy on proteins but light on the heat – look no further. Each 100 gram serves 148 calories and brags of 6 grams of fat, 17.6 grams of carbs, 6 grams of protein, 3.3mg of iron, vitamin A and C and 51 mg of calcium.

Spicy Chickpea -Cauliflower Tandoori

Image source: ‘Spicy Chickpea and Cauliflower Tandoori’ by LiveKindly in livekindly.co.

If you are a protein buff then a bowl of this savory curry could be the right choice for you. Easy and colorful this recipe contains a whopping 23 grams of protein per portion. It’s also got heaps of fiber and serves you yummy nutrients. Drop in a pinch of asafetida and bit of dried chili to push the flavors without burning your taste buds off.  ‘Are you sacred of chilies? Not always hot, capsaicinoids in chilies add great flavors, work as metabolic enhancer and are rich in vitamin- A & C and minerals like iron  potassium. And what’s not to love about this devilish fruit that pips in anti oxidant stuff too?

Thick and flavorful, this recipe packs in enormous goodness and could leave you a lot happier and contented.

Thai Noodle Curry

Image source: ‘Spicy Vegan Thai Curry Noodle Soup’ by Jalisha in eatingveganwithme.com.

This curry is more like a cross between a Thai curry dish and a Thai noodle dish. Rice noodles, red curry paste and coconut milk all come together to stir up a deliciously creamy noodle bowl; and it all comes together in less than 30 minutes! If you’re looking for a protein to pair with this then Thai Coconut curry tofu would blend perfectly with it.  Naturally vegan, gluten free, creamy and packed with veggies, coconut milk and spices in this curry turn it into a gleeful warming family meal. Loving the sound of that? I ‘m sure your guests will too! Nutrition wise, it fares evenly. Each 100 grams serves 58 calories, 1.50 grams of protein, 10.70 grams of carbs, 0.60 gram of fat, zero cholesterol, vitamins and minerals that include essentials like iodine, zinc, potassium, sodium and calcium.

Sweet Potato, Chickpea, and Spinach Curry

Image source: ‘Sweet potato, Chickpea and Spinach Jalfrezi curry’ in supervalu.ie.

If you think that vegan food equals bland food, then this curry will prove you all wrong and it‘s so simple to make! Low on fat and calories, this one-pot curry is full of sunshine flavors and could make you long for more. With all the goodness of sweet potatoes, chickpeas, spinach, and coconut milk, it is seasoned with Indian spices like garam masala, turmeric, cumin and dried chilies and cooked into a creamy, rich, fragrant and hot treat in under 30 minutes. It’s mild enough for the kids to enjoy, but still packs a punch! Each one bowl serve (245 grams) packs 293 calories, 5.1 grams of protein, 22.3 grams of fat and 515 mg of sodium.

Chana( Garbanzo bean) Masala Curry

Image source: ‘Super Easy Chole Masala / Chana Masala recipe’ by Bharat Wadhwa in bharatzkitchen.com.

Authentic Chana masala curry is typically made with grounded whole spices and dried mango powder. These are cooked in some oil to bring out the best of flavor and fragrance. Garam masala options are the traditional ones and you could actually experience a delightful sensory overload. Blended mix of coriander, cumin, cardamom (green and black), cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, and other spices lends an unforgettable tone and turn the curry into a quality bite in under 30 minutes. If you are looking for shortcut to a rich, long simmered flavor, use whole tomatoes crushed in the curry. Diced tomatoes give more chunky results. And what more! If you add some baby spinach, your dinner bowl turns all colorful and nutritious!

Nutrition wise, a 245 grams one bowl portion (serves 4) carries 443 calories, 12.1 grams of fat, 74 grams of carbohydrate, 15.2 grams of protein , 65 mg of sodium, vitamin A, B , E , K1 and C, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, calcium, iron, magnesium and host of other nutrients.

Citrus Pumpkin Curry

Image source: ‘Tangy Tamarind Pumpkin Curry Recipe’ by Pooja Thakur in archanaskitchen.com on Nov.7, 2016.

If you’ve been to a grocery store lately, you probably have figured out by now that the pumpkin spice fetish is these days bigger than ever. 

Pumpkins are a type of winter squash (like acorn and butternut) and a part of the gourd family and the Indian way of cooking it leaves a mesmerizing tingling aftertaste.

A unique gluten free curry it combines the sweetness of the winter squash with the savory-spiced flavor of curry. it is an enchanting display of bright colors – orange, yellow, and red – infused with citrus accents which are a due change from potatoes and chickpeas. It’s as beautiful as it is delicious and offers a unique blend of veggies -both sweet and savory.

Pumpkin curry in fact is a warming match appropriate for the crisp days when pumpkins and other winter squashes come to harvest. It is best cooked until just tender but not mushy. Baking and braising (or sautéed until lightly browned) are the best ways to cook it.

The nutrition profile of pumpkin is pretty stately too .  It’s packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals—including more potassium than a medium banana! One-cup serving of pumpkin curry has 50 calories, 2 grams of protein, 12 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber,  vitamins and includes minerals like potassium, zinc and phosphorus. The show grabber though, are the carotenoid compounds that give the pumpkin its bright orange color. One of these- the anti oxidant beta carotene- potentially reduces risk to quite a few major diseases.

Mushroom Matar ( Pea)  Masala

Image source: ‘Restaurant Style Matar Mushroom Masala’ by Neetu Suresh in cookpad.com .

Mushrooms bring different texture and earthy flavor to this vegan, gluten free, soy free Indian curry where they pair well with peas and make a rather unbeatable combination that is hearty and healthy. You could make the sauce even creamier by adding cashew nut paste and tangier with more tomatoes. A dash of spinach makes it a satisfying flavorful meal that is up for grabs in flat 20 minutes . Pumpkin seeds, silken tofu or plain unsweetened yoghurt could make it even more delicious. One cup serve (230 grams) carries 156 calories, 9.4 grams of fat, 17 grams of carbs, 5 grams of protein and vitamin A and C, calcium and iron in significant amounts.

Red Kidney bean curry

Image source: ‘ Red kidney bean, chili & ginger curry’ in taste.com.au.

Imagine buttery soft kidney beans simmering in a curry base flecked with lightly caramelized onion and garlic with rich coriander and tomato aroma assaulting your senses!! This curry is perfect served with fragrant basmati rice garnished with cilantro and minced red onion. You could add a bit of mint for that extra freshness. Blending spiced tomato sauce with fresh coriander turns the dish a beautiful bright red orange color. This curry tastes heavenly when freshly grounded black pepper in it, builds up as you eat. Nutrition wise, each 100 gram serve carries130 calories and contains 14 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein, 410 mg sodium, vitamin  A (2%)and C ( 6%) and calcium and iron ( 8% each).

If only there was a better way to eat for your well being!

Not many meat lovers find meat curries healthy either. Kormas and pasandas (a popular meat dish from the Indian subcontinent) for instance though delectable contain frightening amounts of cream. The average chicken tikka masala contains about 1,500 calories. Dishes such as rogan josh, madras curry, jalfrezi and sags (with spinach) are no less creamy but make it to the plate for carrying just as many healthy spices.

This leaves the least fattening combination of one of these vegan curries with steamed and lightly garnished rice, or anything oven baked (tandori) coated in yoghurt and spices but not fried.

To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art

Yeah, you have heard this before! For many of us the insufficiency of a vegetarian diet and hazards of non veg foods is both in a way accurate and inaccurate at the same time. Besides the verdict varies  between us. If you think that ditching meat or switching to some other source means you will automatically land up with equal or better source of nutrition, then you are off target.

That ethical take on vegan vs non- veg issue aside, if you were to swear off the meat and animal products, would that mean a ‘magical’ weight loss and a healthy you? Certainly not. Very few of us get to choose between vegan, vegetarian / non vegetarian way of food habits. Everyone in fact just keeps eating what their family chose for them since childhood.

So, it’s for you to choose between fried meaty treats and healthy delicious plant based foods. You could always brush aside that buzz over taste, smell and texture and dig in what you like most. After all healthy food doesn’t have to be boring. But you would do well if you sleep on this; if your co worker is noshing heavy meat burgers and fries every day, is he or she likely to be healthier than you?

And don’t forget….we become what we eat.!!

18 incredible plant based super foods that are packed with more punch than animal protein!!

Good plant based foods are out there that could feed your muscles with more proteins than you would have thought!

You wouldn’t have dreamed of turning from villain to warrior in one bound? Or have you thought of turning yourself into a protein powerhouse?  Sounds more like a feat hard to come by for many of us who are riveted more to mindful eating and intensely deliberate over food choices. We regularly search for nutritional benefits in food we eat and look around for ingredients that are impressive with macronutrients.

Clearly buzz of years means differently to different people. A vegetarian diet can be nutritionally superior to any other way of eating,” says Tallmadge. It can be one of the healthiest ways to eat, because we know plant foods are loaded with nutrients to protect our health.”

So does ditching meat automatically mean equal or better source of nutrition? Will it help us to  live longer and be healthier overall?

Let’s find out.

Proteins go to polls!

Proteins, like fats and carbohydrates are the most enviable energy source and are found in every cell. When viewed as a ‘nutrient of interest,’ protein wrests with other macronutrients for first place in vitality.

Human body is known to require 20 different amino acids and our body synthesizes only 11 of them (usually non essential ones). So, we must get remaining 9 essential amino acids from other sources. Traditionally animal proteins like meat, eggs and milk are considered complete proteins, meaning they provide all of the essential amino acids our body needs.

But there are plenty of plant based proteins sources out there as well. Beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, quinoa, leafy greens such as broccoli and kale and whole grains are excellent sources of protein. Some of them like Quinoa contain all the 9 essential amino acids that we need. Besides plant proteins run lower risk of causing carcinoma and type 2 diabetes.

As winter drags on and social distancing remain an unavoidable annoyance everywhere, we all look around for that little dose of happiness. While reaching out for a pint of ice cream or grabbing that extra slice of red meat might make you feel good in the short run, the rush you get from these caloric choices could leave you at the disappointing end of rush and nothing to show for it.

However, there are plant based foods that could make you feel happier, typically by lifting your mood or help in staving off depression or anxiety without having a negative impact on your waistline or health.  For those among us who wish to avoid animal-related food product and look for more health-conscious options, vegetarian substitutes are a great way to make the real cut.

Besides, it is also an easy way to save the animals and the cruelty that goes with it. Vegan, vegetarian, or a meat eater; if you look around for healthy super food options, these protein surrogates are a great way to swap meat without settling for less.

Black Beans

Image source: ‘Comforting Black Beans’ by Lola Milne in splendidtable.org

Packed with fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin- B6 and phytonutrients, black beans are a good source of anti oxidants and work hard on anti inflammatory properties. You could replace shredded beef or chicken as the main ingredient or use these beans as a base for veg burger Pattie. Each one cup serve carries 15 grams of protein which is equivalent to 50 gram of pork loin or 80 gram of chicken drumsticks.

Butter beans

Image source:’ Southern Style Butter Beans – Baby Lima Beans’ in ddepsouthdish.com on Jul.26,2016

Delicate in texture and starchy yet buttery in consistency, these beans are one serious ingredient for  great many recipes. Excellent source of minerals like iron, copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium and potassium, each one cup (128 grams) serve measures equivalent to ½ cup (64 grams) of scrambled eggs. One of the favorite substitutes for meats in homemade veg burgers, this bean is also the vegan option for soups that share meat in their recipes.

Soybean

Image source: ‘8 reasons why you should add soya to your daily diet’ by Mohsina Dodhiya in totallyveganbuzz.com on May 28, 2020

Soybean sources nearly as many essential amino acids as animal proteins. Fresh version is available as edamame while yellow ones are the mature beans. A good source of protein –one cup serve is equivalent to 75 gram portion of salmon or 180 grams of cottage cheese- soybeans also lay out a happy dose of B-vitamins. Considered as a main stream meat substitute, it’s a good aromatic swap for chicken and to a variety of dishes, from Asian stir fries to BBQ and even as a vegan substitute for scrambled eggs.

Replacing animal protein with soy protein is a smashing way to reduce body weight, manage blood sugar and get rid of bad cholesterol and triglycerides. One serving a day (one cup soymilk, ½ cup tofu or soybeans) is also effective for cancer prevention. The phytochemicals in soy prevent tumors from creating blood vessels and thus impede tumor growth.

Buckwheat

Image source: ‘How to Cook Buckwheat: Learn About the Versatile Grain’ in masterclass.com on Nov. 8, 2020.

This is a gluten free energizing and nutritious alternative to carbs like white rice. One cup serve of this super food has 6 grams of protein which is equivalent to one large egg. Buckwheat granola or pancakes could be a breakfast favorite if you pair them with coconut milk. Great to taste when added to raw deserts, cereals and home-made muesli bars, buckwheat is an incredibly healthy and nutritious food. You can also toss them through soups, salads and well practically any dish you like, as the taste is mild and slightly nutty.

Quinoa

Image source: ‘Is Quinoa Good for You? Everything You Need to Know About the Superfood’ by Katie Robinson in everydayhealth.com on Jul. 8, 2019

One among the few plants that could provide you with all the 9 essential amino acids, one cup serving of this gluten free, high protein food has ‘more bounce for an ounce’ value and measures up to one slice of non-fat mozzarella cheese. High on fiber, quinoa is good on manganese, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin-E and whole lot of anti oxidants. Quinoa tastes heavenly in soups and stews. Since it has low glycemic value, you could swap it for ground beef in burger or BBQ sandwich. Try a vegan quinoa scramble for breakfast and you would be bowled over by its flavorsome tang.

Tempeh

Image source: ‘How to make tempeh with white beans from scratch’ in maricelsvegancrush.com on Sep. 18, 2018.

Tempeh, a rich source of complete protein, is a traditional Indonesian fermented food. It is made by cooking soybeans and fermenting them with a starter culture or mold called rhizopus oryzae for at least 2 days. Fermentation over, the soybeans get stuck together into a dense cake by a white mold. It then becomes sliceable and could be pan fried like tofu. Fermented and easy to digest, tempeh is an excellent meat substitute and looks and tastes incredible. Sweet & sour chicken, BBQ sandwich or chicken nuggets; you could replicate all with vegan and vegan friendly tempeh. Each 100 gram of this wonder food contains 20 gram of protein and is equivalent to 30 gram protein in 100 grams of chicken breast.

Hummus

Image source: ‘Hummus With Tahini’ by Anita Schecter in thespruceeats.com on Ap.7, 2019.

Surprisingly one of the easiest dishes, you can make this high fiber, low glycemic super dip all by yourself by blending chickpeas, a garlic clove, extra virgin oil, tahini (a paste made from sesame seeds, olive or vegetable oil and salt), lemon juice and salt. This amazingly tasty dip is an ideal vegan swap for traditional meat pate’. It also pairs well with sandwich as delectable spread and could replace meat, cheese and other calorie packed spreads and dressings. Each 100 gram serve has 8 grams of protein and is equivalent to one cup of skimmed milk or three spoonful of minced beef.

Ezekiel bread

Image source: ‘Why Ezekiel Bread is the Healthy Bread Everyone is Obsessed With’ by Lindsay D. Mattison in tasteofhome.com on May 30, 2020.

Ezekiel bread is a delicious, flourless loaf made from sprouted whole grains and legumes including millet, barley, spelt, wheat, soybeans and lentils. It’s named after the Old Testament verse Ezekiel 4:9, which reads: “Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself.” Rich in flavor and dense in texture, one slice of this bread contains 4 grams of protein. A complete source of all essential amino acids it goes easy on the gut since sprouting process breaks down starches and releases enzymes that rejig carbohydrates. Sprouting also unlocks vitamins and minerals that turn them savory too.

Lentils

Image source: ‘Herbed Lentils with Spinach and Tomatoes’ by Ellie Krieger in foodnetwork.com

Typically legumes, lentils are high in fiber, magnesium, potassium, iron, folate, copper, manganese, and various other nutrients. These are among the best sources of plant-based protein and an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans.  Each serve of one cup (200 grams) of boiled lentils contains 18 grams of protein. Other high protein legumes that serve equally well include soybeans, kidney beans and chickpeas.

Brussel sprouts

Image source: ‘Roasted Brussels Sprouts’ by Jaqatac in .allrecipes.com

Bursting with vitamin-C and cancer-fighting glucosinolates, Brussels sprouts are one of the most potent cold-weather super foods. Mere half cup (78 grams) of this high protein veggie could provide you 2 grams of protein.  “No! You wouldn’t gag over the offensive smell of cruciferous veggies cooking or mushy middles”. Simply season the sprouts with salt, pepper and olive oil or you could add 2 cloves of crushed garlic and slow roast at 425 degrees for fifteen minutes until darkest brown. You could even splash a bit of balsamic vinegar on top to make it more exciting. You will love them!!  Even picky eaters won’t say no to this amazing cook.

Jackfruit

Image source: ‘What is jackfruit and how do I use it?’ in wtop.com on Nov. 7, 2019.

This could turn out to be your vegan favorite. Jackfruit might be huge in places like Philippines, India, and Indonesia. A single fruit can weigh up to 100 lbs.  Resembling meat in texture( flesh is all fibrous) with somewhat similar looks, it has mild flavors and is easy to spice and cook. It is all rage for vegan tacos, nachos, pork sandwiches, curry and a number of Asian recipes. Do try it as it’s a unique experience and packs nearly 3 grams of protein per cup. It’s also up there in vitamin-C and fiber and rivals bananas for potassium.

Guava

Image source: ‘Pexel free media library in wordpress.com.

With 4.2 grams of protein per cup, guava definitely tops the list of high protein fruits. If that’s not enough, guava serves 4 times your daily vitamin-C needs in a single serving!! Eat all by itself, add it to sweeten a smoothie, pair it with Greek yogurt or simply mix with fruit salads for a perky and protein-rich new taste. Packed with antioxidants this fruit is an excellent source of fiber.

Avocado

Image source: ‘The avocado craze’ by Dr. Phil Maffetone in philmaffetone.com on JUl. 9, 2019.

A close second to guava in the protein stakes with an impressive 4 grams per cup, avocado is a perfect breakfast that is genuinely delicious and could turn a simple toast into a healthy flavorsome meal. A show stopper in salads, avocado is also one versatile food that pairs well with your nutrition requirements.

Dried Apricot

Image source:’ 15 Health Benefits of Dried Apricots (and Nutrition Facts)’ by Martha Piccolo in dryingallfoods.com

Dried?” This could put you off, but surprisingly  this one is  far more loaded with protein than a ripe wet one with 2.2 grams per one cup serve.  You could munch them down straight from the pack or mix them into your breakfast cereal.

Almonds

Image source:’ Almonds Aren’t Nuts, They’re Fruit‘ by Holly Van Hare in thedailymeal.com on Oct. 16, 2017.

Each ¼ cup serving of this wonder nut contains 12 grams of protein or equivalent to one cup of full fat milk if you choose one tbsp of almond butter. Energy rich almonds also contain nutrients, minerals and antioxidants and source protein, calcium, magnesium and iron too. Since the almond butter pairs well with fruits like apple, pears or banana, you could stir a spoonful in your smoothie, spread on toast or lick straight out of jar.

Kiwi fruit

Image source: ‘8 facts about Kiwi Fruit’ in fruitrunner.co.uk on Jun. 21, 2017

Savor a Kiwifruit if you haven’t done so far and experience a magical sensory explosion of flavor that would leave you searching for more.  It contains a fairly respectable 2.1 grams of protein per cup, not to mention nearly twice your daily requirement of vitamin-C.  Simply cut one in half and dig in. You won’t regret it!

Blackberries

Image source:’ Blackberry Plant Profile’ by Jamie McIntosh in thespruce.com on Sep. 25, 2020.

With 2 grams of protein per cup serving, we could be staring at the bottom of the protein vat, but blackberries still have more to offer which is enough to make to our favorite’s list. They pack in plenty of fiber, vitamins and minerals for a good healthy snack.

Pumpkin seeds

Image source:’ What are the health benefits of pumpkin seeds? ‘in medicalnewstoday.com.
Image source:’ What are the health benefits of pumpkin seeds? ‘in medicalnewstoday.com.

Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, can be tucked away with or without shells. Once scooped out of the pumpkin and freed of flesh, this super food turns into a delightful snack when light spices are added and then roasted for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Whole roasted pumpkin seeds in their shells contain about 5.2 grams of fiber per serving, while shelled one contain just 1.8 grams.

Rich in other nutrients, including magnesium, a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds pack nearly 42 percent of a person’s recommended daily intake of magnesium and 9 grams of protein.

That’s not meat protein yet is dependable and so easy to cook!!

For someone who doesn’t eat meat, it’s exciting to try Beyond Meat Burger and to see if it really lives up to its name. The plant-based burger looks, cooks and makes the grade like beef. Carrying all the juicy, meaty deliciousness of a traditional burger, this super food comes with the upsides of a plant-based meal. If it does fit in to your choice, the elegant burger that looks and tastes like meat will actually have 20 grams of delicious fatty plant-based protein that could leave you wondering if it’s made out of plants!

To every meat lover who asks you where you get your protein from – the answers could be confusing and may sound a bit thick. For meat lovers anything vegetarian or vegan has little nutritional value, is ridiculously bland and not a perfect meal for those who are always on the go.

Vegetarians  on the other hand associate their foods to a lower risk of heart disease and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol which could help in managing blood pressure, hypertension and type 2 diabetes. These are the people who buck the trend to have lower body mass index, lower overall cancer rates and lower risk of chronic diseases.

Whatever…Good taste or easy protein, there is certainly no call for veg vs non-veg. What matters most is, how you choose between sustainable foods that are flush with proteins especially when there is no one protein like “one size fits all”.

So, choose smart, make peace with your plate and eat healthy!! 

Is it a rough patch or are you worn out? It’s time to breathe in some fresh air into your relationship !!

Hard times or weariness in relationships is like a sandpaper being rubbed on a fresh wound and you wouldn’t know whether to plaster it or just let the fresh air heal the wound.

Image source: ‘How I Healed My Strained Relationship with My Mother’ by Jennifer Cochran in tinybuddha.com

At one point or the other we all face a wide range of ups and downs in our relationships. Nothing unusual there if you experience a difficult period, especially when illness or financial worries have pushed you in a catch 22 spot. Marital hiccups are though known to run high and could make a mess of your relationship any time sooner than you could have guessed.

One foremost problem for disconnect is gradually disappearing physical intimacy and whenever that   happens, troubles mushroom. We tend to forget that level of desire wax and wane throughout life for each one of us but despite that most happy couples retain a strong intimate connection throughout their lives.

Another sign is fading communication between partners. Poor communication tends to feeds on itself.  There are couples who have been married for decades and still confide in one another each day. Significant problems begin to rise the moment either of the partner realizes that he or she no longer wants to share anything and everything with his or her partner. Connect simply wanes away if neither sets out to resolve.

If you are in a passionate relationship, it probably is a healthy one and certainly wouldn’t want this to happen to you. But then do you really know what this ‘Healthy relationship is all about, especially when everyone is so different and everything changes with time? No relationship ever remains the same as before. Not even healthy relationships are free of scars. Problems, fights misunderstandings are thick on the ground but getting rid of them and looking after each other’s back is what makes it so pink.

You wouldn’t know when the toxicity crept in?

Given few exceptions we all are wired to be wanted both emotionally and physically. Life seems better shared but like most other things in life worth having, relationships too need efforts to stay intact. After all none of us, not even our parents are perfect and oddly enough neither do they see us as perfect. It’s the mood, faults and quirkiness that tell us when to start learning and when to adapt; just as much we expect others to learn the same for us. And it’s worth it!

Image source: ‘Are you fighting too much with your partner?’ in indiatvnews.com on Jun.30, 2017

Have you sensed of late that your attentiveness has turned somewhat toxic? Your terms of endearment are always ending up in upsetting someone. Unintentionally you are rubbing your partner  the wrong way and you feel that your relationship has become mired in bitterness. Your  connect has mutated into something that has the potential to hurt you both.

This could be emotionally draining and infrequently physically damaging. Look back!! It seems that the truth has evaded both of you for it always takes two to have a toxic relationship.

On the other side, a healthy relationship shares desire for each other’s happiness though there may be brief periods of discontent. After all we humans are not that perfect but not always everything is necessarily lost.

Slandering is how the things first began to turn ugly

This is when you feel that your relationship has become all screwed up. I’m just kidding. Can’t you take a joke?” This is a contemptuous disapproval of your thoughts and actions or at least that’s how you could make out. Gradually this vilification turns public. You are often told that you are lucky to have them as a partner, that no other man or woman would really want you. Your self esteem is on a down slide and you can feel the control of this relationship slipping out of your hands.

Frayed temper takes the center stage

Image source: ‘Would you eavesdrop on an arguing couple?’ by Matthew Smith in yougov.co.uk on Sep.8 , 2017

Controlling by intimidation or ‘hair trigger’ temper is a classic example of how things could worsen and leave you peevish. This “walking on egg shell fear never leaves for you will never know when and what will make your partner explode in rage.

Emotionally abusive partners rarely show the flip side of their selves to the outside world, meaning they revel in being frequently thought of as a pleasant, easy-going person whom almost everyone likes.

These salvos of bad nerves are the first signs that your relationship has turned sour and everything is just not working out fine.

Guilt trips are no longer infrequent

You are lucky to have evaded them so far for these could leave you sad and conscience stricken. It’s good for your relationship if your partner has not encouraged you to feel guilty any time you do something he or she doesn’t like. Feel lucky if he or she hasn’t got someone else to convey their sense of “disappointment” to you so far.

For those who are prone to remorse, anything or anyone who frees you of guilt is most desirable and this very emotion leaves a powerful means of control in the hands of your partner, parent or friend, to get what he or she want.

Reaction goes overboard

Did you ever tried telling your partner that you are unhappy, annoyed or even hurt with something that they did and somehow it is you who is taking care of their anger?

If it is so, then you are comforting them instead of getting it for yourself. Unknowingly you have readied yourself to ‘cover the trench’. Perhaps you are being too sensitive. Or perhaps you have faced a more calculated apology; “Do you love me?” and have decided to relent because suddenly the criticism is replaced with comforting admiration.

Trust me, staying in a relationship this way is no better than like paying $1,000 for a candy bar without getting much for your investment. Its one-way nature and you usually end up feeling like you have never done enough for either of you.

Overdependence is now infuriating

Oddly your partner has turned passive and you are taking most of the decisions for the family, from where to go to dinner to what car to buy. Not making a decision has the advantage of not being responsible for the outcome, especially if turns out to be a ‘wrong one’. You chose a movie or restaurant they didn’t enjoy. You chose to spend the weekend with your parents and your partner goes along but doesn’t speak to anyone for two days. The distress is inching in and you are unaware of it.

If you feel your relationship is slowly wearing in, you have given away the control to passivity.

Possessiveness is endearing

This certainly is bad news. Jealousy steers suspicion and comes to play the first fiddle in no time. Your partner is checking the odometer in the car to make sure you haven’t gone somewhere you “shouldn’t,” You are faced with awkward interrogations if you stayed late at work. In short life feels miserly while your partner sees herself or himself as possessing you.

We all love the sweetness of certain words. Good times and challenges ring bells differently for different people. Even if you find yourself in a tough spot, take heart for great things do not happen by chance.

Here’s how you can fit in your connect and breathe some fresh air to ease your sourness!!

Be together more often

Your relationship is jinxed because none of you chose to spend enough time together. May be conflicting work schedules or long distance relationships have made it more of a struggle to stay patched up. It’s time to make time for each other as much as possible. Plan a date or may be a Netflix night once a week. It could do wonders to your kinship!!

Figure out who raises the storm more often and fix the grudge

A relationship can either bring out the best or the worst in us. Are you in a crappy mood when you are with your partner? Have you noticed that your partner is gradually becoming more and more depressed? It’s time to reflect back on you and your partner’s behavior and find ways to mend it.

Hang on to your conviction

Trust is anything and everything. Trust means you know for sure that all your problems will work out soon and your partner will always watch your back in tough times. Even when you know that the spark is fading, trust is what will bring you two back together.

Take a trip down the memory lane

Once riding the storm, it’s always easy to feel indignation for your partner. If you want things to straighten out, it’s time to start feeling more positive. And the easiest way to do this is by remembering the good times you had spent together. The good times can mean anything. Even choosing what you love about your partner can also bring positivity. It would do some good to remember that you always get what you put out.

Never quit loving

Image source: ‘A Music-Loving Couple Planned the Ultimate Cyclorama Celebration’ by Andrea Timpano in bostonmagazine.com on March 9, 2020

This is easier said than done. You could be mad at your partner or feeling awful. But it isn’t easy to let go of the flame even if you are going through a rough patch. Small gestures like “good morning” and “goodnight” text messages could keep love alive. Recall the time when you felt mad in love. It’s time to relive it . Go out on little dates or do things you did back then.

Let ears do the talking

You have a lot many things on your mind and you hasten to spill it all out on your partner. But this may not be a good idea as you think. Instead stay open with your ears. Let the other person talk first. Who knows, maybe your partner already knows the solutions to your problems. Surprises are not so hard to come by.

Keep the attraction alive

These are bad grumpy times and the last thing you may think about is sex. But you’ll be shocked at how many problems it can solve. Intimacy and attraction is what could truly help you to re connect and re-ignite that spark.

Pull together and make it work

Even if you love each other, things won’t work unless you both want them to. Each of you will have to agree that you’ll do what you can to improve and help this relationship to work. Pull the plug yourself if you think your partner is too discouraged or work-shy.

Let bygones be bygones

man in black long sleeved shirt and woman in black dress
Image source: ‘Pexel free media library’ in wordpress.com

Don’t misunderstand indulgence! Forgiveness does not free you to mistreat or misbehave with someone. It makes you accept what we all are doing the best we can. When we disappoint or hurt each other it’s not because we want to. Surely if we knew better, we would do better. So let go of all that that has hurt you in the past and begin creating memories that will last you a lifetime.

Let go of the ache to fix or change  

The key to reviving a gasping relationship is to fully accept the cardinal truth that ‘you cannot change anyone except yourself’. The sooner you realize this as an inseparable verity, the earlier you will begin to heal and grow together.

Be good as your word.

Relationships struggle, when trust weakens. When you say you will do something or share everything, your partner will trust that as a truth. It’s fine if you decide to turn around but let your partner to catch up with you. Take your time and your partner will change and grow with you.

Daydream together

Relationships weave lives together but life’s logistics always catches you up for a grind. Take a day off and have blonde moments. Explore, plan and reach out to each other to live out your dreams. Be grateful to each other for having made your life easier and better. This could be your moment to turn a corner in a struggling alliance.

We all long to be loved and accepted for who we are and how we are. It’s only when we feel that we are not ashamed or disappointed in each other and choose to change, life begins to come out of disuse gradually.

After all no relationship is perfect. It’s no big deal to overcome your relationship sorrows so long as there is love and the desire to make it work. You just need to step out of the box.

And above all, stay curious, celebrate each other and never choose to let go.

These awfully adverted rude foods have actually brought the fun back into snacking!!

Rude foods are finally bringing the fun back into snacking. Organically produced muesli and porridges packed full of tasty fruity bits and extra textures are jostling and finding space in daily breakfast tray, disproving the cynics who thought that such cereals were boring.

Weirdness is all sweet and savory

We all love deliciousness of certain words. These are the words that bring everyday food to life. Even something as modest as a chocolate could make you salivate when dressed with warm adjectives like rich, thick, gooey, creamy, silky or frothy. Appetizing words like simmering, browned, roasted, spice tempt you to try out a newer recipe each time you visit a non-descript out of  the way café with equally tempting offerings.

The cake fluffy as a pillow, toasty brown bedecked with plum colored cream swirls, looks like a homespun triumph. The cream of mushroom is all butter laden cognac kissed charm. Succulent and plump shrimp sautéed with chili flakes and served with salad of oyster mushroom, cucumber and corns, all fresh, vibrant and crunchy, is just spicy enough to make you sit upright.

More lightweight than a brittle these are the foods that work wonders over a cup of coffee. If you could soak all day in these awesome foods, then what is this ‘double entendre ‘all about? 

May be it’s about a  food—even the one you normally like—that can be described in a way that totally robs the joy of eating it.Yucks!! this food’s worth a second tasteyou would describe a tomato if you don’t agree that a good tomato is ripe, sweet and juicy. Slimy, jellylike substance around the seeds, thin skin and grainy pulp” would keep you at bay from even a salad staple. And it sure wouldn’t inspire anybody to rush out to a nearest oyster bar and stay calm when faced with a plateful of barnacled, irregular and slimy oysters on your table. Aesthetics of devouring shellfish would give way to horror in no time and you will never manage to extract oysters from their watery home! 

Food that we consider inappropriate for consumption is usually a sell-short version of undercooked, overcooked, burned or mystery portion in an old margarine tub at the back of the fridge; lamenting veggies weeping at the bottom of the crisper or the leftover of greyish congealed gravy with fur and fuzz sprouting from things. The kind of stuff nobody would want to or ever should eat. Adjectives like grisly, withered, rubbery, curdled and moldy perfectly make for a food that is beyond its prime. This is what plainugly’ food is all about.

But have you wondered that what the French consider delectable- snails in a sizzling garlic sauce– may well be another culture’s nightmare?

But what happens when a flavorsome food is named weirdly?

From coddled eggs to Witchetty grub, it’s not unlikely that the weirdness of names themselves would keep even the most enterprising foodies at arm’s length. For one coddler is a porcelain cup with a lid and none would dream of eating pottery and anything ‘ witchy’ sounds downright dangerous and equally distasteful.

But the fact of the matter is that weirdest foods are not always that weird. Coddled eggs are in fact lightly steamed or baked (in hot water bath) rendering only the whites to be slightly cooked. Likewise Witchetty grub is the larva of a moth that feeds on wild bush called by the same name. Packed with proteins it can be eaten raw or soft cooked and tastes like scrambled egg and for some it even reminds of chicken.

So why not call them by the name everybody is familiar with ? Why not just use words like “sausage” instead of “mystery meat”? For a few it could be for fun’s sake but for most it’s akin to putting punch back into the very act of snacking.

Here are some of the freak foods that are ubiquitous and grossest at the same time. Known passionately and devoured eagerly, these dishes are not entirely inaccurately regarded as ‘mystery foodsand often carry even weirder ingredients.

Bubble & squeak

Image source: ‘Classic British Bubble And Squeak’ by Decatur MacPherson in 12tomatoes.com

If you think that this food hails of something close to a living creature that bubbles and perhaps squeaks when served on your platter, then you couldn’t be more far from truth. This food has origins in Great Britain and actually contains leftover fried veggies. Loved as a side dish to morning breakfast, it’s meant to sound awful because the dish made from cooked potatoes and cabbage when mixed together and fried literally bubbles and squeaks while over the fire.

The Imam Bayildi (literally Imam fainted)

Image source: ‘IMAM BAYILDI (A stuffed eggplant recipe from Asia minor)’ by Evelynathens in food.com

Now this one is far weirder and you couldn’t possibly have the slightest idea of what could there be in the dish. It’s actually a recipe from the Turkish cuisine and is generally made from whole eggplant, garlic and tomatoes and simmered in olive oil. Imam bayildi could also be made from baked tender aubergines with aromatic tomato and onion stuffing. Legend has it that it was so delectable that it made even the Imam faint with pleasure at the delicious flavor of this dish.

Bat Milk yogurt

Image source: ‘The 20 Most Inappropriate Food Product Names Ever’ by William Lewis on Jan 29, 2015 in top13.net

This weird brand of yogurt made from cow’s milk comes from Brazil and certainly has nothing to do with bats. From a Brazilian brand Batavo, this yoghurt created a fusion of two words by combining a Portuguese word, “batter“, with the English word, “milk” hence creating one of the offensive words, “BatMilk.” Even then who would want to have BatMilk ?

Only Puke crackers

Image source: ’31 Truly Unfortunate Food Product Names’ by Jessica Misener in buzzfeed.com on Sep 30, 2013

Words often mean different things in different languages, as this awfully adverted food proves. This Chinese snack is actually known as Only Pukeet and is oddly named because the last two letters on the bag were horrible prints making them virtually invisible. These honey bean crackers remind people of vomit and couldn’t possibly really make you want to eat them either.

Century eggs

Image source: ‘Century Eggs with Mala Chili Sauce’ by Lady Home Chef in ladyhomechef.blogspot.com on April 27, 2017

There is no way you could even dream of eating a 100 year old egg. But when you do eat, you are actually eating an older, rotten, black version. This recipe calls for eggs being preserved in clay and ash for few months. Once ready, these turn into a savory comfort food. Of course, no health issues here. Intimidating but it is a convenience food.

Bangers and Mash

Image source: ‘Bangers & Mash with Guinness Onion Gravy’ in johnsonville.com

The English always have had a penchant for weird names. This eat also known as sausages and mash, quintessentially has British-Irish origin and consists of finger sausages served with mashed potatoes drizzled with gravy. Including one of a variety of flavored sausages made from pork, lamb or beef, this is a dish you’ll find anywhere in the fancy restaurants and pubs across England. It blends well with other luxury ingredients and is super delicious too!!

Clootie dumpling

Image source: ‘Clootie Dumpling! posted by SOCIAL:FIFE ⋅ on Jan 25, 2015 in socialfife.wordpress.com

Based on name you wouldn’t have guessed it right. This in fact is a desert pudding made of sweets stuff like dough, dried fruits and sugar, all held as a dumpling within a strip of parchment and fabric. The name clootie comes from the cloth it‘s boiled in, as cloot is scots for cloth. Traditionally you would boil the dumpling straight on the cloth rather than lining it with paper first. You can also steam it in a pudding basin if you wish to experiment.

Sweetbread (Offal)

Image source:’ What is Offal? Types, Nutrition, Benefits, & Uses’ in discover.grasslandbeef.com on Nov. 25, 2019

It’s hard to win you over as an exciting believer of this ‘complicateddish. It is neither a sweet nor a piece of bread and contains animal meat as the key ingredient. Sometimes also known as ‘Offal’, the thymus or pancreas of the animal is behind one of the main ingredients. Many sweetbreads come from veal meat or lamb but beef and pork sweetbreads are the revered ones.

Welsh Rabbit

Image source: ‘Welsh Rarebit’ in foodandtable.com on May 20,2018

If you think that it is a rabbit dish from Wales, then you are in for a surprise! This one is in fact a vegetarian dish and for some odd reason has been so weirdly named by somebody who was either incredibly clever or mighty confused. No rabbits; it is rather melted cheese over toast or crackers. The English nonetheless brandish a fancier version with actual rabbits.

Rocky Mountain Oysters

Image source: ’11 Things You Didn’t Know About Rocky Mountain Oysters’ by Sarah Anderson in thrillist.com on Aug.22, 2015

These are not oysters and neither seafood. Purposefully but so inaccurately named, these are actually testicles from animals like goats, sheep calves. So, how did this dish come to be? At the end of the day most big ranches would end up with hundreds of these and just to make economic sense out of it, make use of them by cooking and eating. For few it may go off well but for most it is an ugly food, absurdly described that fails to whet appetite.

Ladyfingers

Image source: ‘Ladyfingers Recipe & Video’ in joyofbaking.com

No! You have guessed it all wrong. It’s not a savory dish made out of okra pods but a delicious little dessert. These are in fact low density, dry egg based sweet sponge biscuits cakes made out in the shape of a large finger. Essentially, they’re dip-able, finger-shaped cookies that are so delicate that even Keats had to write about them. Ladyfinger cakes are undoubtedly an intricate creation and are  considered to be one of the rare bakers’ arts.

Crunky Ball Nude

Image source:’ The crudest foods: From ‘Crunky Ball Nudes’ to hot ‘Urinal’ cordials’ by Yaron Steinbuch in nypost.com on Jan 28. 2015

One of the most hilariously named Korean candies, this is a provocative confection made with hazelnut paste and malt covered in crisped rice and chocolate. It looks more like an unsophisticated version of a Ferrero Rocher. These candies come packaged in a plastic barrel with a flip-top, which is quite a fun. Each ball is about the size of a grape and covered in tiny rice crisps.

There’s very little chocolate though that could show through. The rice crisps are nuttier and taste almost like cornflakes or sesame seeds and are within each ball too. The chocolate is thick with dusky hints of malt. The texture pairs well with the airy puffs of rice.

Even infamous is sometimes delightful

With names like Pee cola, Cream colon biscuits, Golden gay time cookies, instant ramen ‘Soup for Sluts’ and ‘Urinal’ hot drink, at first glance these foods could put you off when feeling impish. But words mean differently for different languages. Some of the most delectable spreads are the most unfortunately named foods in the world.  It’s not surprising that the idea of adverting these nasty named foods as an epicurean delight is fast catching up since they mate so well with the duality of happiness and health. It’s startling that even the most weirdly named cuisine is not considered a redemption dish anymore!!

If you haven’t tried one of these freakish sounding foods so far, it’s time to reach out. The queerness is just the result of terrible branding or probably their awkward names are a result of their true name meanings having lost track over the time.

Whatever…names apart, you know how to pull it off when gravies and curries, sweet and savory and traditional and classical meet the challenges to keep the textures right even after a long journeyfrom wok to platter.

You could actually unjunk your favorite junk foods into healthy delights !!

Inexpensive, mouthwatering and widely available, junk foods laced with craving whipping ingredients, are incredibly irresistible and make for an obscenely tempting sweet or savory food.

It’s not uncommon that just about everyone of us who has live through that upsetting endless ‘diet-getting-horrified’ resolve to cut out the junk food may have stayed on course  for a short while, begin to binge again –feel the guilt once more and then start all over again. But is it that impossible to step away from junk food for all the wrong reasons it carries?

Sometimes, just having an alternative could steer you clear of all those empty calories; “empty” because there is either no nutritional content or it is so low, it might as well not even exist. May be keeping some healthy snack options handy could help you next time that craving hits. But for quite a few however, suppressing those stomach urges may not be easy to cope with.

So what do we do about it? Is there a way to steer clear of those junk treats? Not many of us would know how to go about it. But you could do just fine by approaching this whole junk food issue from a different angle. Instead of cutting out the junk completely and stamping out your cravings, try recompensing your ultimate temptation with junk foods in their unjunked form.

Here’s how you could eat bad foods’ regardless of what you may have heard.

Peanut butter

Image source : ‘ Ask the doctor, why peanut butter is healthy if it has saturated fat? ‘ by Prof Walter C. Willett in health.harvard.edu

High in fat content, this is one high protein comfort food that is a good source of fiber, vitamin-E, magnesium and antioxidants. When consumed moderately, it could even help manage weight while controlling hunger due to protein and fiber content that take so long to digest. Be sure to watch your serving size though. No more than two tablespoons (28 -30 grams) would be enough. Also shop for natural version with no added sugar.

Chocolate

Image source : ‘When is it Ok to eat Chocolate ?’ by Ellen Byron in wsj.com

An ounce (28.34 gms precisely) of dark chocolate is shown to lessen the risks for heart diseases and a bit more helps ease stress. It reduces LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol and improves cognitive performance in elderly. Look out for dark chocolate with a 60% cacao or higher that has more antioxidants and less added sugar.  Since even dark chocolate is calorie rich, stick to one to two ounces per day to avoid weight gain.

If you think you are not a regret cook and spirited enough to look for an exciting feat, then you should try snacking tomatoes instead- convenient, bite sized and so sweet. Known to score as high as chocolate cake in the category of flavor, cherry tomatoes are convenient snacking options. Simply give them a wash and you’re good to go! It can’t get any easier than that.

Pizza

Image source : ‘Domino’s is giving away free pizza to people named Karen’ by Olivia Petter in independant.co.uk

The ultimate temptation of greasy toppings could be anybody’s waistline nightmare. First you tell yourself it is just one slice, then you reach for another and another. What begins as curious nibble turns sizeable in no time and no wonder calorie meter bolts wild!

To make this work for you without being too moreish, just replace the white crust with whole wheat dough. If you are venturesome, try making a cauliflower crust or go for mini bites with egg plants or mushrooms.

Cheeseburgers

Image source : ‘Classic Cheeseburger’ in taste.com.au

Be wary here. Ground beef and cheese that make this eat so gratifying, piles on kilos. Nonetheless, take a shot and make this work for you. Put together your own patty with extra lean beef and complete it with a whole what bun. Turkey meat could be another healthy fill-in.

Potato Chips

Image source: ; ‘ Setting up potato chips factory’ in financialtribune.com on Sep 29, 2015

You could be the one of those who often cheats themselves for the fun of it and relent to that luring commercial tagline,Once you pop, you can’t stop”. Unfortunately, laden with carbs, fats and salts these deceitful eats are hell-bent on expanding your waistline. Try fruit or vegetarian chips instead using carrots, kale, beet, oranges or even apples. All it takes is some chopping, slicing, smearing olive oil, and baking.

If you think you have the nerve to try something resembling ‘Michelin star’ cooking, next time try slicing up some bell peppers and cucumbers to pair with a flavorful dip! Lots of other veggies – like carrots, celery, or broccoli – also go nicely with a whole lot of dips

Nachos and Tacos

Image source : ‘ Nachos and tacos: The perfect combo’ in mesero.net on Jul 17, 2019

These two classic meals run high on everybody’s priority list, especially the ones that are piled high with your favorite but often fatty fixings. It’s not so difficult to make them work for you. Simply swap out nacho chips for sweet bell pepper that you can stack up with your favorite veggies, black beans and cheese. Cheese shelled tacos on the other side offer a healthier alternative to hard shelled taco and go so well with homemade salsa.

Soft drinks

Image source : ’13 ways that sugary soda is bad for your health’ by Joe Leech in healthline.com on Feb. 8, 2019

With sugar levels going through the roof, soft drinks are still a hard to resist food and could potentially harm your brain if indulged into recklessly. Craving for it is particularly due to its refreshing quality and tangy flavor, no matter what the cost.  If you wish to make it work for you, throw in a slice of lemon or add a strawberry in unflavored soda water. The zing would be just as much flavorsome and freshening in double time!!

If you are craving for something thick, cold and sweet like a milkshake to drink, try instead flavorful fruit filled smoothie that are packed with healthy vitamins and minerals! Natural sugars found here with no processed sugars added make it a delightful snack to tuck into and kick your day off.

Pancakes

Image source :’ Fluffy Pancakes’ in eggs.ca

Commonly mistaken to be fewer calories intensive, each ingredient in this breakfast delight works quite differently. Batter in this scrumptious food is converted into sugar way quickly than you would have thought. Other ingredients that go into its making like syrup turn it into a fare that is far from healthy.

To make it work for you, use extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil and top it with berries or a dash of butter. A less sugary version is better option and could be made with a banana and two eggs. Just mash the banana, whisk in the eggs and cook in a heated pan for 30 secs in any form. Shapes do not matter much any way!

If you are free swinger in kitchen, try adding sweet bell peppers to the batter! Once added to baked goodies these peppers take on an unbelievably sweet flavor and sport a healthier ingredient list. Adding these nutrient-dense fruits to your pancake is one easy way to rake in a healthy dose of vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and iron into your system.

Ice Cream

Image source :’ New tech for ice cream making’ in Cleanroomtechnology.com on Aug 29, 2018

One of the most irresistible snack food, little needs to be said about how delectable ice cream is. Yet, considering it is essentially made out of sugar and milk creams, just as less needs to be said about its health properties. But no worries! No need to get rid of ice cream entirely either. Instead try a vegan option. Blend together two frozen bananas and blueberries or walnuts, use coconut milk variant or even yoghurt and a delectable healthy version of every day delight is there for you to dig in.

Pasta

Image source : ‘Cheese, Nuts and Cranberry Pasta’ in dairyfarmersofcanada. ca

Layer upon layer of cheese and cream is what makes pasta so enticing. Carbs contents of course usually run through the roof well beyond healthy servings. Can you still make it work for you? Yes! by all means. Just look around for foods that could make a great pasta replacement.

Ever heard of spaghetti squash or vegetable spaghetti? It is a cultivated plant from   genus Cucurbita . When raw, the flesh of the fruit is solid and similar to other raw squash. When cooked, the meat of the fruit falls away from the flesh in ribbons or strands that look like spaghetti and is a much healthier option. Available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors including ivory, yellow and orange with orange having the highest amount of carotene, spaghetti squash is an excellent source of fiber. A 155 gram (1 cup) serving packs in 2.2 grams or 9% of your daily fiber needs. It’s a good stand-in for pasta, and blends nicely with various flavors. Roasting it correctly will yield strands of ‘spaghetti’ that can be topped up with regular spaghetti condiments.

To spruce up the spread, slice up some zucchini to make “noodles”, edible baked or raw. Throw in a generous amount of carrots, peppers, onions and peanut butter to complete a delicious variant of Thai pasta.

Foods that do more than make you smile

There’s a reason they couldn’t be called “junk,”. Eating food that is high in fat, sodium and sugar reduces your interest in eating more. Each 100 gm serving of oil roasted and salted mixed nuts contains 54 gms of fat, 273 mg of sodium and 4.2 gms of sugar. Once ingested your body stops responding to the normal impulse to seek more food. Coffee fares much better and contains 0% carb, 0% protein and only 40mg of caffeine per 100 ml serve to keep you pepped up all day long.

Nuts

Image source : ‘Highest nut quality with optical inspection’ in specim.fi on Nov 19, 2019

Nuts are high in fat and calories and if eaten in reasonable quantity, actually help in weight loss. Also, nuts are heart-friendly and consuming them significantly lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke. Walnuts, rich in omega-3 fats, are particularly good option and contain plant sterols that have cholesterol-lowering properties. These kernels in their natural form are the finest source of fiber, vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins, and iron. Walnut chomping is also known to help manage metabolic syndrome, diabetes and inflammation.

Since unprocessed version is typically free of any junk quality it could be consumed raw, though works better if soaked overnight. Eat 7-8 walnut halves before any two meals daily and drink a glass of water after 15 to 30 minutes. You will feel fuller and will eventually eat less food.

Coffee

Image source : ‘Wake up to the smell of coffee from these 6 homegrown coffee brands’ by Trishi Dhingra in magicpin.in

This anytime brews helps you burn fat and ups physical performance by raising metabolism and increasing oxidation of fatty acids. It is an excellent source of antioxidants and is believed to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Three to four cups a day is your safe bet. Just be sure to skip sugary flavored creamers. Almond or coconut milk instead could be a good choice.

Besides coffee is also  known to help in small but significant reduction in the number of teeth with periodontal bone loss.

Healthy snacking isn’t so hard !

Ever wondered what makes certain foods so addictive than others. Why we crave for ‘junk’ more than any other food? Much of the science that follows offers cryptic explanations. When we eat tasty food, two factors make the experience pleasurable or otherwise. First, there is the sensation of eating the food that includes the experience of how it feels in the mouth (salty, sweet, umami etc.) and what it smells like. Yet another one is the actual macronutrient makeup of the food— the blend of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that it contains.

Junk foods have an infamous but perfect combination of salt, sugar, and fat that excites your brain and get you coming back for more. In fact rapid food meltdown and vanishing calorie density of junk foods signals your brain that you are not eating as much as you actually are. These foods literally tell your brain that you are not full even though you may have overindulged.

However, there is absolutely no need to sacrifice your favorite junk foods as you search for that trim waistline. A little bit of creativity and effort could do well to your culinary skills and keep you nourished and stoked for sensory specific responses. All you need to do is to take control of your intake of saturated and trans fats, for these are the two most deceitful culprits responsible for major health problems. Go for healthier options over the easy ones and once you learn to unjunk your food, you wouldn’t be looking for fresh inspirations elsewhere!! It’s always good to step out of box once in a while and put some consideration into your favorite dish without butchering it.

Above all not every junk food you pick is a diet disaster but just because something is as easy as pie doesn’t mean it is always good for you.

Try the redemption way and it could actually turn more healthy than you think!!

12 high protein delights where serving size scores big over portion size

Your serving size might be the reason you are getting Fat. Or maybe you are over-indulging in ‘healthy’ food one time too often. May be you have missed the good ones and everything that followed is devastating your diet plan. It’s time you learn to get fewer spoons in your food and discover which nutriment could just work great for you.

Should you have too much of good food!

“Anyway, it’s healthy.” If this is how you would react then in all probability you are eating too much of a good food and may be one time too many. Needless to say we fall prey to temptations sometimes and often cheat ourselves for the fun of it. Over the years food portions and servings have grown in size and so have the waistlines.  A bagel that sized 3 inches and carried 140 calories not so long ago, has fattened to 6 inches and a whopping 350 calories.

When we look for healthy foods we are suddenly beset by the misbelief that we can have as much of it as we want without the consequences. Sometimes we even find it thoughtful that we can eat our way to negative calories and a promising health.

So what to eat and how much to eat?  Let’s clear the air.

Are you indecisive about nutrition?

Nutritional studies usually run aground for the simple reason that it’s pretty hard to figure out what people actually eat. Sizing a tomato before eating is difficult to remember than how many times you ate it last year. Nutrition judgments could go awry and be distressingly inexact for the same reason.

For this simple relatable reason you just couldn’t do any better by sticking to a one particular diet and size. Eating a variety of fresh food and cutting back on processed ones is the simplest way to ensure that you get what you need most, even if the reality isn’t as exciting or new as you might wish it was. And then you may also wonder how the microbes in your GI tract will behave. Will it somehow change you whole nutritional plan?

No way, this is more about your personalized nutritional response than anything else. Micro biome science doesn’t carry necessary evidence to back up its use. For now, it’s wait and see and then wait and see more. It turns out science is often wrong on the way to being right.

Most roads lead to fineness proteins that strengthen bones, cartilage and skin and could improve your mood swings by regulating body hormones. With some health rewarding combination of these impressive foods, all equations work just fine without sabotaging weight loss goals!

How many times you have returned home exhausted, and either grabbed whatever you could on the way or called that local takeaway joint? Probably many more times than you wish you didn’t remember.  

It’s not so uncommon to find those who rush out of home for a 8-10 hr job each day and for whom a quick cup of coffee is the only choice to kick start their day.  A rush to street joints and a hasty bite of those street foods without fretting over the food value is a poor choice. The unfortunate part is that these people miss out on the importance of having high protein foods each day 24/7. Even high protein snacks fail in hitting your macro goals that range from reducing appetite and increasing muscle mass to healthy bones, cartilage, skin tissues and blood. For every kilo of bodyweight you need 0.75 gram of protein each day; that sum up to 56 gram daily if you are of an average built.

If you are keen on being lean and sinewy and alive outside, you need to up your protein intake by all counts. Just how much of what that will keep you stoked all day without worrying about the waistline? Let’s figure out here;

Egg

Image source:: ‘Go (over) easy on the eggs: ‘Egg-cess’ consumption linked to diabetes. in Newsletter of 14 Nov.2020 Univ. of South Australia.

An average 50-gram chicken egg provides approximately 70 calories of food energy, 6grams of protein and approx. 5 grams of fat. More than half the calories found in egg comes from the fat in the yolk which in turn contains 2/3rd of the recommended daily intake of 300 mg of cholesterol.

On the other count the egg white consists primarily of water (87 percent), protein (13 percent), little fat and virtually no cholesterol. Once boiled these miracle orbs provide you significant amount of several vitamins and minerals that include vitamin-A (19% of daily value or dv), riboflavin (42 % of dv), pantothenic acid(28% of dv), vitamin-B12 (46 % of dv), choline (60 % of dv), phosphorus ( 25% of dv), zinc ( 11% of dv) and vitamin-D ( 15% of dv).  But remember, how you cook an egg affects its nutritional value. Packed with nutrients, calorie for calorie, an egg is pretty much like any other food and makes portion control easy even for the most unwilling.

Just boil two of these, cool and dig in!

Cheese

Image source: ‘The 9 Healthiest Types of Cheese’ by Lizzie Streit in healthline.com

The protein content in cheeses varies between Parmesan, Swiss, Pecorino, Edam and Gouda but offers the most bang-for-buck. A 100 gram serving provides between 26-35 grams of protein with around 1.3 grams of carbohydrate. Paired with anti oxidant grapes or blue berries it could make you jumpstart even after the 3 pm slump.

Yogurt- Greek or Regular?

Image source: ‘Strawberry Yoghurt Recipe’ by Meghna Wani in parenting.firstcry.com

Regular and Greek yogurt are made from the same ingredients but differ in nutrients. While regular yogurt tends to have fewer calories and more calcium, Greek yogurt has more protein and less sugar — and a much thicker consistency. Both types pack probiotics and support digestion, weight loss, and heart health.

Let’s find out which scores most on nutrition;

Protein 

A typical 170 gram serving of Greek yogurt contains 15 to 20 grams of it, the amount equivalent of 2 to 3 ounces of lean meat. That makes it particularly appealing to vegetarians, who sometimes struggle to get enough of the nutrient. An identical serving of regular yogurt, on the other hand, provides just 9 grams which could make you may feel hunger pangs sooner.

Carbohydrate 

A smart choice for those who watch their waist lines Greek yogurt carries half the carbs as the regular kind – 5 to 8 grams per serving compared with 13 to 17. Further, the straining process leaves this yogurt less likely to hurt those who are lactose intolerant. No matter which one you opt for, just go for the one that is less sugar added.

Fat

Be wary here. A 200 gm serving of Greek yogurt packs 16 gm of saturated fat – or 80 percent of recommended daily allowance if you’re on a 2,000-calorie diet. On the other side, regular full-fat yogurt has 5 grams of saturated fat in a typical 225 gram serving. Saturated fat raises total and “bad” cholesterol levels.

Sodium

An average serving of Greek yogurt could provide you as much as 50 mg of sodium, about half the amount most brands of the regular kind carry. Too much salt spikes BP and increases the risk of heart ailments. Recommended intake puts cap at 2300 mg a day or 1500 mg if you are older than 50, have hypertension, diabetic or suffer from chronic kidney disease.

Calcium 

Regular yogurt serves 30 percent of your daily requirement while Greek yogurt sheds some of its calcium through the straining process. A 170 gram cup of Greek yogurt nonetheless provides at least 20 percent of your daily need. Still worried about your calcium intake? Just add another serving of milk or stir almonds into your serving each day.

Edamame beans (Immature soya bean)

Image source: ‘Edamame-Black Bean Salad’ by Betty Crocker Kitchens in bettycrocker.com

Green soybeans certainly don’t sound inviting, yet they’re a great source of protein. Like meat and dairy, these greens provide all of the essential amino acids your body needs. One 50 gm serve contains around six grams of protein and four grams of carbs.

Fish

Image source::’Why Is Fish Good for You? Because It Replaces Meat? ‘ by Roni Caryn Rabin
 

When you pick up one of the packaged tuna, salmon or mackerel options you indulge yourself in the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. You can choose from various options – with or without dressings and other ingredients like bulgur wheat, lentils and quinoa.

Tofu

Image source:: ‘ Deep-Fried Tofu With Dipping Sauce’, by  Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee in latimes.com

Meatatarians may be skeptical but this could very well make them sulk no longer. With 8 grams of plant based protein and 1.9 grams of carbs, each 100 gram serving of tofu could be a delightful addition even to most eclectic non veg spread. Its smacks great when chopped into cubes, pan fried with spices and then dunked into onion tomato ginger gravy. Take a bite of this portable protein and I’m sure you wouldn’t find it super weird any longer. It’s great at sucking up the flavors of the dish it is prepared in and is a versatile addition to a meal. After all it is curdled soya milk and is made pretty much the same way most cheeses are made. Firm tofu (soya bean curd) contains about 10 grams of protein per 100 grams of serving.

Lentils

Image source:’ Madras Lentils’ by Linda in thewanderlustkitchen.com

A great source of protein, cooked lentils carry about 8.84 grams of protein per 100 gram serving. Red or green, lentils can be added to stew, curries salads or rice to give that little extra punch of protein to a lunch or dinner spread. Apart from protein and fibre, lentils carry key nutrients including iron and potassium.

Chickpeas

Image source: ‘how to make espinacas con garbanzos here’ by Lauren Aloise in spanishsabores.com

Highly versatile with plenty of recipes you could relish chickpeas by adding them in stew or curry or even enjoy it oven roasted and spiced with paprika. Even hummus which is again made from chickpea paste is your healthy, protein rich mouthful alternative to butter. High in protein, each 100 gram serving of cooked chickpea contains about 7.25 gram of it.

Peanuts

Image source: ‘Eat Peanuts: You May Live Longer’ by Jennifer J, Brown in everydayhealth.com

Protein rich, brimming with good fats, peanuts are your complete protein snack. An 8 gram tablespoon of peanut butter spread over your sandwich could leave your gut feeling happy. Each 100 gram serving carries about 20.5 gram of protein.

Quinoa

Image source: ‘How to cook Quinoa (and what to do with it!) ‘ by Kylee in kyleecooks.com

Quinoa is a complete protein grain. A cooked 100 gram portion contains about 8 grams of protein. It is also rich in other nutrients, including magnesium, iron, fiber, and manganese. You could relish quinoa as a fill-in for pasta, in soups and stews or even choose to sprinkle it on a salad. It just savors great with any combination.

Protein-rich veggies

Image source: ‘8 High-Protein Vegetables You Must Start Eating Right Now! by Sarika Rana in food.ndtv.com

Eaten alone many of these dark-colored, leafy greens  are not enough to meet your daily protein requirement , but a few vegetable snacks can increase protein intake, particularly when consumed along with other protein-rich foods.

A single medium stalk of broccoli has about 4 grams of protein while kale gives you 2 grams  per 100 gram serving. 5 medium sized mushrooms likewise contain about 3 grams of protein. For a happy eat you could try a salad of baby greens with some quinoa sprinkling for a protein rich nutriment.

Seitan (Wheat meat)

Image source: ‘Instant Pot Seitan’ by Liz in zardyplants.com

Seitan is made from mixing wheat gluten with various spices.  This complete protein however is best avoided by people afflicted with gluten intolerance because of its high wheat content. It turns into a protein-rich wholesome meat substitute for you when cooked in soy sauce. One 125 gram serving could supplement you with as much as 24 grams!

Foraging for bottom line!

If you feel that your jeans are hugging you tighter than usual, don’t blame all that food. It’s your personality that actually make you decide how much and when should you eat. Most extroverts are more likely to eat out with friends and tend to have bigger portions of less healthy foods. Conscientious ones who abide by the rules are unsurprisingly the healthiest. These are the ones who would rather nibble on a carrot stick instead of chips when the urge to eat hits. Then there are those also who are prone to emotional eating and are disoriented enough to usually eat dense and high calorie foods.

This eating awareness may discomfort you but it’s not meant to make you self conscious or feel scared of food. It’s here only to make you realize that what and how much you put into your body might not be right choice. May be it’s not what your body actually needs. May be you are eating more out of habit than want.

So, take a break between those bites and remember that some 20 years ago, people were just as satisfied with one half the size. You would or wouldn’t be, is uncertain but at least you will know what and how much you have eaten. Meanwhile keep servings in mind when looking for a quick bite.

You may find an easy way to avoid over-doing but be on guard for times when it’s not so easy to count.

Body bloom foods that could actually make you more radiant and alive than you would have thought!!

It’s not hard to miss and you may have actually experienced it feasting on junky, prepackaged foods that taste of nothing but chemicals. That unsavory taste lingers offensively and leaves your taste buds high and dry. Compare this with a meal made from wholesome organic ingredients and the choice is so clear and obvious. You wonder how on earth you could ever prefer processed over fresh food!

Looking good is just as much about taking care of your body inside as it is about radiant outside. And I am not merely talking about your looks alone. A good eat promotes healthy exterior too. Take for instance your hair. It needs protein to produce keratin, the proteins that make hair strong and lustrous. If it doesn’t receive enough of proteins, it could go into a ‘resting phase’ causing noticeable hair loss. Come to think of it…try adding a portion of whey protein to your morning smoothie for simple boost. It may even help you with controlling your appetite and those afflicted with iron deficient anemia. This iron deficiency is primarily associated with koilonychias– a deficiency syndrome characterized by spoon shaped nails. Many would hasten with the advice; you must eat red meat every day of the week. It will help you get over this deprivation in no time”. Does this mean that you should be consuming it each day, especially when you know that red meat is high in saturated fat, and consuming lots of it hazards increased risk of several health problems including cardiac disease, several types of cancer and type 2 diabetes? I would though say that a lean cut of beef once a week wouldn’t harm you much.

Subtle signs you are missing out on these essential eats!

What do all those healthy foods have in common? Super foods like grilled chicken, lentils, yogurt, and eggs… all are loaded with enough protein to see us through the day. Carbohydrates, fats are also all important to maintain good health quotient. In fact each one of these three macronutrients are high priority foods for a different reason. If you cut back on carbs, your body responds with odd reactions. If you pinch fats you are risking your brain’s health. You may have trouble staying focused at work or even find yourself feeling scatterbrained and foggy. And of course, you wouldn’t want to cut corners on proteins. This is one major source of energy and intrinsic to functioning of your immune system.

There is no one magic number for how much of protein you need each day. Grams differ from person to person. So you would do best if you learn which food carries most and add them in your daily serve, if you feel you are not eating enough. But before that, let’s figure out why proteins are so crucial while making food choices.

Our skin, hair and nails are made primarily from a protein called keratin. Our body derives it from the food we take to produce it. If it doesn’t get enough of it, our skin, hair, and nails get hurt most. Yet another promising protein that is so important for your winsomeness is collagen It counts heavily on amino acids proline, glycine and lysine for its production. These amino acids come directly from eating certain protein rich foods. That’s part of why eating salmon, eggs, and yogurt can actually help us if we are looking for better hair slides. But what lies next is even more perplexing!

You may be cramming all the goodness that you think is adequate but still not see the results you actually want to happen to you!  You are taking longer to recover from stress situations or don’t see muscle gain even after a workout. Any number of things could be stalling your progress. In all probability you may have missed the cue to begin with. What is good may not be enough.  This happens when you lack enough proteins.

The proteins that would have otherwise been used for muscle building and repairs, are used to supply more to vital tissues. In fact when your muscles break down during stress activity, they simple wear away instead of building up stronger during repairs. This means that your body needs more of it to build up strength back again. This doesn’t have to come from a protein bar or shake but from nutritious foods in your meals and snacks.

Here’s the foods that could give your hair and nails a boost, your sagging skin a natural lift and texture, those puffy dark circled eyes an unmistakable shine and luster, an envious upturn to six packs and above all help you stay stoked 24/7.

Image source: ‘ 6 reasons to stock your kitchen with blueberries’ by Daisy Melamed.

Blueberries We all know that antioxidants help protect our body’s cells against free radical damage.. This damage results in higher levels of stress hormones and inflammation that in turn harm all the cells in the body, including those in the hair and nails. Blueberries could just be the right choice to overcome this depletion. Among other fruits and dark greens, these berries have one of the highest antioxidant properties of all fruits.

Image source:: ‘The health benefits of Almonds” by Nicola Shubrook in BBC Goodfood.com.

Almonds These goodness picks are a rich source of protein and full of magnesium. An anti stress mineral, it helps maintain healthy hair and nails. Look out for those vertical ridges in your nails. This may be the sign of inadequate magnesium in your body. You can also get more magnesium through leafy greens and soybeans.

Image source: ‘Czech microbreweries call for ‘beer paramedics’ amid lockdown hangover’.by David Hutt.

Beer Interestingly, beer is one rich sources of silicon, a trace mineral that increases circulation to the scalp, which bodes well for hair growth. May be it is why a daily 10-mg silicon supplement is found to be enough to reduce hair and nail brittleness after about five month therapy. No need to go overboard, though. Most single servings of beer carry10 mg + of silicon.  So…no more than single drink a day for women and two for men unless  you intend to ruin your diet plan.

Image source: ‘ Easy butter and herb baked Oysters’ by Diana Rattray.

Oysters These have 74 grams of zinc per serving, far more than any other food. Not interested enough to eat oysters every day? Or maybe you are a vegan or an absolute vegetarian buff ! Any one of beef, poultry, fortified cereals, and baked beans could help you up your intake of this vital nutrient.

Image source:: ‘Canadian milk : Forever free from antibiotics’ on 14 Feb 2019 by DFC-PLC com team.

Milk A link between vitamin D and hair loss has evoked renewed interest among those who experience everyday trauma over falling hair. Women who shed hair are believed to have lower vitamin D levels than those who flaunt healthy hair. Calcium is a key mineral in building healthy hair and nails and you need vitamin D to absorb calcium. Of course, vitamin-D fortified milk offers both, but supplements  sans medical advice is a big nay even if you think you might be deficient.

Image source: ’26 Things You Need To Know Before Buying A Carton of Eggs” by Olivia Tarantino.

Eggs Eggs are a good source of protein and contain little bit of vitamin D and biotin, a B-complex vitamin that plays a key role in keratin development. If you are deficient in biotin then it is very likely that you have weak hair and nails that are brittle and break one too often.

Image source:: ‘Easy salmon recipes’ in Olivemagazine.com on 08 Oct 2020.

Salmon Salmon is a good source of biotin and protein, along with omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation and promote healthy moisturized skin. And mind you…your scalp is skin too. A healthy scalp means healthy hair follicles, and in turn strong lustrous hair. Omega-3s’ inflammation-reducing effects are also good for your nails.

Image source :’Double Baked Sweet Potatoes” in Macheesmo.com.

Sweet Potato This highly nutritious super food is just great for promoting keratin production. It is particularly high in beta carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body. This vitamin in turn promotes keratin synthesis and is so essential for skin and hair health.

Image source: ‘ A detailed guide to eating garlic and reaping it’s possible health benefits’ by Kristeen Chemey.

Garlic Garlic carries plentiful amounts of L-cysteine, an amino acid found in keratin and helps in toning the skin health. Garlic is also rich in beneficial micronutrients, including manganese, vitamin B6 and vitamin C including a powerful compound called allicin. Allicin acts as an antibiotic agent and helps cure respiratory infections.

Image source: ‘ UP: Mango sales dip due to Covid-19 lockdown’ in The Hawk dated 12 Jul 2020.

Mangoes A ripe mango is one delicious way to pack in some extra nutrients into your food. It is stuffed with pro-vitamin A that kicks up the synthesis of keratin. Mango is also high in several other key nutrients such as vitamin C and folate.

Image source: ‘Are Sunflower Seeds Good for You? Nutrition, Benefits and More” by Marsha McCulloch.

Sunflower Seeds Savory, satisfying and flavorful, these seeds are a great source of both biotin and protein that support keratin production. The seeds are also rich in a number of micronutrients including vitamin E, copper, selenium and pantothenic acid.

Image source::’Why Carrots Are The Superfood You Need In Your Diet’ in ZENB.com.

Carrots Carrots are loaded with vitamin C and promote collagen synthesis to support hair, skin and nail health. This vitamin also assists in wound healing, alleviates inflammation and protects against skin damage. These sweet, delicious crunchy taproots hold plenty of biotins, vitamin B6, potassium and vitamin K1 as add-ons. An exceptionally rich source of carotenes and vitamin-A, a 100 g fresh carrot contains 8,285 microgram of beta-carotene and 16,706 IU ( international unit) of vitamin-A.

Image source: ‘Curly Kale’ by Rory O’Connell in rte.ie/lifestyle/recipes/2015.

Kale This leafy green super food is a good source of pro-vitamin- A that supports keratin synthesis. It is also a great source of vitamin C that stimulates the production of collagen, a type of protein that manages the texture, strength and elasticity of your skin.

And don’t forget that quintessential water! Skin, hair, nails and all our cells need water to function as we are mostly made of water. So keep hydrated throughout the day, whether with water or through herbal teas.

Then there are those that you don’t just have to eat… The beauty of using foods to nourish yourself means that often you can use them directly and indulge in a mini pampering session all by yourself. You can make a face mask of mashed avocado, cacao powder and ground turmeric or mashed papaya, coconut yoghurt and turmeric to hydrate, soften and make skin naturally glow. Try applying coconut or avocado oil to the hair, leave overnight as a hair mask, then rinse out in the morning. Or make a homemade body scrub with ground oats, olive oil and sugar or ground coffee, cacao powder and coconut oil.

Trust me, results would amaze you to no end!!

Shore up within and walk off into the sunset

Whatever you do and howsoever you intend to make it happen, simply learn to eat a little better than you have been doing so far. Remember changes didn’t happen to you!! Just aim to strike rich with what you devour. Choosing healthy flavorful foods are known to work best for those who realize that binge eats are your worst enemy and work on diet plans that indulge more on macronutrients.

After all living inside a healthy body doesn’t have to be difficult. One should be in sync with it and have fun together!  Just step out, gather your wits and try new healthy, nutritious foods without gushing over.

You will be surprised how small changes could make a heap of difference.

 

Jump start your day with these super breakfast ideas and get through a work week bright and breezy !!

Mornings are usually rough. All of us hit that snooze button often one too many times, gulp down an extra cup of coffee to get us going and then rush out of the house before even thinking about breakfast to fuel our day. Only a few of us are stickler for an orderly breakfast and wouldn’t leave home without some fiber in their systems.

Breakfast is all important. It kick starts your metabolism and delivers nutrients and carbs you need so badly first thing in the morning after a 10 hour hiatus. Still looking for a more thoughtful reason to eat a hearty breakfast each morning!!. You must understand that this fast breaking habit helps to  reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes. Those settling for measly morsel are 21 percent more likely to have type-2 diabetes in their lifetimes. It’s equally important to understand that what you eat for breakfast is just as important as whether you eat. Carbohydrates, proteins, fat… all have a vital role to fit in our breakfast.

Not all carbs are created equal. There are carbs that spike your blood sugar levels regardless when you eat them. Then there are the healthy ones that give you energy for longer period of time without hurting you. These are the breakfast eats that rally behind you. So, learn to plan your breakfast and include fat, protein and healthy carbs in your menu. The combination has amazing gastronomic value and the experience will keep you feeling happy and full without flirting with your blood sugar levels.

Here’s to few awesome healthy ideas;

Cheap and healthy: Eggs are the best

Eggs are inexpensive, go easy on your GI tract and can be cooked in any number of ways. Hard-boiled, poached, or scrambled, these miracle orbs are the perfect morning eats.

Eggs are a rich and complete source of protein and contain nutrients such as betaine and choline, which contribute to cardiac health. A single egg locks in vitamins such as B-2 (to ease food assimilation and turn it into energy), B-12 (to help in producing red blood cells), A (to improve eyesight), and E (to aid in preventing cell damage that could turn cancerous). The popularity of the eggs just doesn’t ends here. These amazing spheroids bookmark their presence on our menu list more importantly because of their ability to double up as a whole meal. Immensely popular with health freaks, egg leaves a lot of room for creativity and for squeezing in as many healthy ingredients as one likes.

Although omelets are one of the healthiest breakfast foods and work out as a wholesome breakfast, they often end up unintentionally with a lot more calories added to them than necessary.

Nothing betters Oatmeal as your regular choice

One pitch-in breakfast that is high on fiber, easy to prepare, needs few ingredients, and is high on nutrition is cold cereal or oatmeal with no more than 1 percent milk with a small handful of nuts thrown in. Oatmeal is a whole grain with a ever growing list of health benefits. Fix yourself a bowl every morning and you can lower your risk for high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. It could even help you in your weight loss plan and bad cholesterol management.

Since it’s so important to begin your day right with your body all perked up, oatmeal is an ideal choice as a healthy food for breakfast. A great source of fiber, it works well with nutritious toppings like fresh fruits slices, hearty nuts, and calcium-rich milk.

Eggs served with whole grain or wheat toast and fruit: Cue to change in your eats!

Another no frill meal with all the goodness you need to start your day is one or two boiled or poached eggs perched atop whole grain or wheat toast and fruit. With just 140 calories, two eggs serve you with 12 grams of quality protein, or 24 percent of the daily requirement for this nutrient on a 2,000-calorie diet. Add on like cheese, milk and vegetables raise the calorie count. The two orbs also provide you generous amounts of micronutrients, like 15 to 35 percent of the required value for several B vitamins and 25 percent of the minerals selenium and choline.

Meanwhile a slice of whole-wheat bread chips in another 76 calories and 4 grams of protein. Spreads using butter or jam could make the calorie count jumps. Whole grain varieties of bread that carry the additional benefit of fiber, help in filling up and keep your guts happy.

If you’re worried that with eggs for breakfast you could be jeopardizing your cardiac health, rest easy. While eggs are high in dietary cholesterol, their effect on cholesterol levels is minimal. But if you’re still worried about cholesterol, let go of the yolk and use egg whites instead which have only half the protein and fewer vitamins than whole eggs. The whites are cholesterol-free!

Breakfast burrito is here!!

What could be a more delightful way to begin your Sunday morning and break long food hiatus since last night than a mouthwatering burrito!! Stuffed with beans, eggs low-fat cheese and a high-fiber tortilla this could be your best bet for a great meal for a leisurely breakfast when you have that extra time to spare. With just under 200 calories in a full breakfast burrito, you can feast on one of these alongside some salsa, fresh fruit, and maybe a cup of coffee for a filling.

Generally, vegetarian burritos are more healthy because they’re filled with beans, rice, and veggies. The nutritional value of course depends on the ingredients you add. One that will push up the calorie count is sour cream. There’s hardly any difference between store-bought dairy and vegan versions.

Cottage cheese and fruit combination is all business when it comes to nutrition

Do yourself a favor and start eating this combination for your breakfast if you’re not already doing so. Refreshing and inexpensive it can be prepared with any kind of fruit. It’s high in many nutrients, including protein, B vitamins, and minerals like calcium, selenium, and phosphorus. If you’re looking to lose weight or build muscle, cottage cheese is among the most beneficial foods you can eat. Calorie for calorie, it is mostly just protein with very little carbohydrates and fat. Eating plenty of cottage cheese is a great way to boost your protein intake. It is also very satiating, making you feel full with a relatively low number of calories. Cottage cheese also helps in soothing your blood pressure, for it is a lower-fat cheese.

The recommended amount of this dairy per day is three 30g portions, but not cheese alone. It should also contain other dairy products like milk and yoghurt in a balanced diet.

Breakfast smoothies have everything

Smoothies could turn out to be an exquisite breakfast—it’s all about the ingredients and keeping reasonable portions. Super healthy breakfast smoothies are quick and easy to make, and of course,  are delicious too!

A healthy smoothie recipe is packed with protein, fiber, unsaturated fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. A supercharged smoothie tastes great, is meant to keep you full until lunchtime and includes these five essential nutrients.

Fruit Fruit has more to offer than simply adding sweetness. An excellent source of fiber and the “good carbs”  it serves as an excellent fuel source. Bananas for instance are a smoothie staple and pair well with an array of other fruits.

YogurtProtein is the missing link in many smoothie recipes, but adding a small amount of yogurt—just ¼ cup—kicks in extra six grams towards your daily goal.

Liquid All smoothies need a wee bit of liquid to combine properly. Unsweetened almond milk is one good choice but you can use any variety of unsweetened nut milk, freshly-squeezed orange juice, or just plain water.

Nut Butter: A scoop of your favorite nut butter would add satiating unsaturated fats and an incredible bang-for-your-buck nutrition.

Greens: Slip in a handful of greens into your smoothie for that extra dose of fiber and key vitamins and minerals. Tender, mild-flavored greens like baby spinach would just do great.   

Mix-ins: These are optional and include fresh herbs such as basil and mint or fresh ginger to give that extra punch to flavor without affecting nutrition.

Why should your breakfast never lack

Breakfast rallies importance for several reasons. A nutritious wholesome meal in the morning, it serves necessary fuel to our body and brain. It also helps regulate hunger and reduces the urge to snack intermittently throughout the day.

For a nutritious breakfast, try to choose whole unprocessed foods from each of these food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy. Include proteins from foods like yogurts (hunt for less sugar added versions), eggs, nuts and seeds or legumes. Also add complex carbohydrates such as whole fruits and vegetables, and whole grains (i.e. oatmeal) that provide fiber and help you feel full longer.

If you want to feel and look your best, always eat a proper breakfast to help get you off on the right foot. Carving out time to feed yourself nutritious foods in the morning gets your metabolism going strong and let’s your body know it’s okay to burn calories throughout the day.

After all, even if you love your morning spread as much as the person next to you, remember at some point of time you have to reign in your urge for fancy eats. Some of the answers to your search for nutritious food options and healthy fulfilling life may surprise you but then… You always eat some you always lose some.!!

Lip smacking street foods that are not a diet disaster and are actually healthy!!

If a quick bite is your only choice then reach out for those sumptuous street foods without worrying about your waist line. It’s no big deal! You could even escape the trip to an expensive restaurant with your diet plan intact and find healthier options among the street foods that are notorious as diet disasters.

An ideal food that does not derail the diet is one that is not loaded with high fat and high salt or flaunt high calorie  items and essentially carries a plate that is half fresh fruits or veggies, a quarter of whole grains and the rest lean protein. Look out for grilled, baked or boiled options veggies preferably and then add sides of salad or a fruit salad. This could be your spread  if you look for healthy options every time you rush for a quick bite.

A third of people who eat at food joint three or four times a week are obese. More often we forget that for almost every meal that we take, smart choices are there for our picking. That doesn’t mean that you should avoid fast food entirely if you are looking for a few healthy options to order each time you eat out. If you are on the run and hungry, street foods are not only fast but usually hit the spot each time. They are cheap, tasty and above all- so convenient.

The key however is self restraint- both in how often you frequent these street food joints and what you eat leaning on side rails. Street food menus are tricky if you are watching your belly. Finding safe and healthy food at these wayside joints is always a challenge, but there are always choices that you can make that are healthier than others. Just learn to keep your entire meal to 500 calories or less …no more. The average adult eats 836 calories per tuck-in each time and usually underestimates what he or she ate by about 175 calories. So… no wild guesses-  nutritional info on various food items is available at number of websites and franchise locations. Take advantage of this info. Opt for foods that are lower in fat and high in protein and fiber. Look for items with more good stuff like fiber, whole grains and high quality protein. Look out for spreads that are low in saturated fats and steer clear of dishes that carry trans fats.

But then you could be wrong if you assume that healthy sounding dishes are always the best bet. Many salads turn into a diet minefield once they get smothered in high fat dressings and fried toppings. This is where learning before ordering could make a huge difference. Remember what you eat is your best bet to live a healthier lifestyle.

Here’s how;

Pin on to zero calorie beverages

Soda, a huge source of hidden calories packs in around 300 calories in a large pack. Shakes are even worse and have about 800 calories stowed in – that’s a day’s worth of saturated fats. And don’t be fooled by lemonades or fruit drinks. These add calories and sugar and definitely lack much in the way of nutrient. Be wiser about sides and ask for water, diet soda, or unsweetened tea instead.

Those side dishes are evil and mean no good to you

Beware of items that come with side dishes. Sides like fries, chips, rice, noodles, onion rings, coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, biscuits, and mashed potatoes with gravy, could set the calories flying. Better bets are salads with light dressing, baked potato that are easy on the toppings, fresh fruits, or corn on the cob (a cooked ear of freshly picked maize).

And pass on those French fries for you could do without them. A sandwich or burger has plenty of filling of its own.  Still if your meal doesn’t sound complete without this ravishing evil choose the smallest size. This could be a whopping 400 calories lesser than the large serving.

Even lean meat could wreck your diet plan

Adding meats- even the lean ones to sandwiches and salads is always a tempting thought. But these have very few nutrients and are high in fat and calories. Ask for extra pickles, onions, lettuce, tomatoes or mustard to add flavor without the fat. Even skipping high fat toppings like cheese, noodles and croutons could save you from adding hundreds of calories!

And if you could, avoid salads that have deep fried sea food, cheese and sour cream that make them high fat, high calorie diet-chart busters.

How promising are the diet plans

Diet plans are time consuming and could make you often wonder if fast food is the only way to cram a meal into a busy schedule. May be you just couldn’t let go of those spellbinding McDee burger! Either way it’s all too easy to overload on fast food items with high counts of trans fat, salt and additives that could bring some serious harm to your health.

But did you know that there are healthy food options too on the food menu of these street side joints? While most nutritionists would reject the idea of eating fast foods that are on best weight loss tips, there are plenty of street foods that are loaded with nutrients and go easy with calories at the same time.

A lot many sidewalk joints are offering these options now. Some of these are sure to surprise you if you are apprehensive about the scary ingredients hiding in your favorite dish! Save yourself the trouble. You could always check with 20 odd nutritionist approved menu items on the Net you can trust. These joints serve you far less spooky stuff than you could have imagined; more as a margin trimming exercise than any afterthought on food’s nutritional value that is served. Whatever… you win either way. Less ingredients and still lesser trans fats means your worst fears have the bottom knocked out.  

Once you decide on living a healthy lifestyle, you need to gradually change the way you look at what comprises a healthy meal.  Be determined to make this change for the long term and not because of any urge to make this a fad.

Looking for something refreshing and healthy!

If you think that you are done with the recipes doing round on the internet and want to try something new and healthy- these street food items might tickle your taste buds right. Not only these could be appropriate to what you consider as flavorful and healthy but you could also have a taste of savory cuisines- literally.

South Indian Food : You can start by trying South Indian healthy street food items that bet on strong flavors, go easy with fats and are finger-licking good! Needless to say the cuisine has set firm roots all over the world. Soft, steamed idlis are not only extremely healthy, but are absolutely delicious with coconut chutney and sambhar. Crispy fried dosas are an anytime snack favorite and can compliment practically any gravy. Though traditionally made with coconut, the chutney can also be made with onions, tomatoes, chilies and coriander!

Palak Paneer: Healthy, delicious and innovative, Palak Paneer essentially made with spinach and farmer’s cottage cheese (paneer), is nearly always the star of the table when it comes to vegetarian fare. Add a few naans or rotis (flatbreads) to it and you have a complete nutritious meal.

Biryani: This classic concoction of rice and chicken has more variants than any other dish! Modifications specific to various regions is what keeps this dish interesting. While some keep it classic, many street side eateries mix the rice with a pre-cooked gravy for the moist flavorsome appeal and then add the meat.

Corn on the cob : Another widely adored street food is corn on the cob (also known as bhutta). The corncobs are roasted on a hot coal stove and then rubbed with some lemon juice, salt and spices. A variant of this is the boiled American corn that is sold in small plastic cups. Beware of the amount of butter that goes into it, though!

Sandwich : The toasted sandwich is a particularly popular snack, Stuffed with tomato, potato, cucumber and onion and lathered with some chutney; sandwich can be eaten plain or toasted. The fillings vary and may include vegetables such as capsicum and beetroot. Most sandwich vendors now offer the option of brown bread as well, although mass-produced brown bread is hardly the healthy variety.

Momos : Always very popular as a savory dish, these steamed dumplings are a healthy and filling snack on the go. Vegetables or meats are stuffed inside parcels made of rice flour. These are usually served piping hot with spicy sauces.

Pav bhaji: Infinitely popular this Indian street food is generally made spicy, loaded with veggies and lugs a generous amount of butter. Though it is loved throughout the year, winters are the best time to relish this for all the vegetables that can be added to it. Just take a look at those peas on top, you will understand what I am saying.

McDonald’s Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich: Grilled chicken sandwiches generally make better healthy lunches than hamburger patties. Pair yours with a salad and light dressing and low-fat milk or water to drink. This fast food is not meant to expand your waistline for calories may be far below 500, but your blood pressure may take a flip because of high sodium contents, if you gorge on it regularly. So, don’t bite it too often!

Burger King Whopper Jr. : Burgers could be a smart choice if you load yours with veggies like onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and pickles for added flavor without additional salt or fat. Skipping cheese and settling for barbecue sauce or ketchup instead of mayonnaise saves on calories. You could try the garden patty option too. Regardless of which burger you pick, skip the bun and you could slice off another 140 calories.

Singapore Chili Crab: If you have a knack for spicy meals, schedule your next rush to a roadside eatery for lunch grab where crab finds prominence in the menu ! This dish is healthy because it contains 45 grams of protein and only 9 grams of fat. The micronutrients that this dish offers are essential for keeping your weight on track.

Korean Fried Chicken Burger: The perfect combination of fried chicken and burgers into your plate is created to not make you feel guilty about eating it. This dish contains 19 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. The recipe could be a bit tricky because it combines ingredients that are meant for the chicken with the kimchi-style sauce.

Tandoori Chicken: Chicken is one of the best sources of protein, and is naturally low in calories. The only concern is that it’s preparation  require oil which compromises on the health factor. Tandoori chicken is however, prepared without any oil, from a paste made of chicken, spices, and a little butter. Just make sure your vendor doesn’t use artificial colors and you’re good to go,

Sweet potato: Potatoes are ever woefully accused of being unhealthy and leading to weight gain. On the contrary potatoes are good for health. Sweet potatoes are loaded with a number of nutrients like vitamins A, B, and C, and minerals like manganese, potassium, and iron, along with a good amount of fiber. Topped with lemon and spices to enhance flavor there is nothing wrong with having sweet potato, even regularly.

Stuffed Parantha : This version of Indian flatbread is satiating, contains the richness of butter, and is delicious. Street joints usually offer stuffed variants ranging from vegetables, boiled potato or paneer  all mixed with assortment of taste enhancing spices. These fillers are needless to say, good for health. What more, it is prepared on the spot, so you could watch and ensure that the person making it uses less oil. The paratha itself is made of wheat flour, so nothing wrong over there. Butter, which in low quantities is perfectly healthy, and the pickle is also none too bad for your guts or health.

A hot bowl of Soup: Whenever the time is of the essence and is running short, instant soup is a quick fix for eating on a time crunch and getting respite from the stress conditions. It works as an easy and comforting snack for people of all ages.

Spiced lamb and Feta gozleme : Who says you can no longer eat a single pizza when you want to live a healthier lifestyle? Turkish Gozleme with Lamb are savory homemade flatbreads filled with ground lamb, spices, herbs and feta cheese. You won’t be able to eat just one! They’re incredibly delicious and full of great flavors! Each serving contains 65 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber and 38 grams of protein.

Shawarma: Shawarma is a dish from Middle Eastern cuisine consisting of meat cut into thin slices, stacked in a cone-like shape, and roasted on a slowly-turning vertical rotisserie or spit. Originally made of lamb or mutton, today’s shawarma may also be chicken, turkey, beef, or veal. However, shawarmas typically run in the 600-calorie neighborhood, once you’ve added in the pita and sauces. So if you wish to maintain your toned flat stomach, try only once in a while or only to make good your calorie shortfall. Whatever… it’s delightful, divine and knock-out tastyall at the same time.

Get the best in health and wellness

Your attempt to have a healthier lifestyle should not be harmed just because of the limited options for food available for you. You should be inquisitive enough to search for healthier meals around you, and street foods could become an excellent option for you. And there are a lot of healthy finger foods which you can try and that won’t break your teeth when you bite into them.

Think about this in your next internet search and I am sure, you’ll be able to discover more food cart dishes that fit to your healthy lifestyle!

“I could never make heads turn” and I never rued for not being the object of desire.

People around me could never gather enough courage to say that they never found anything attractive in me, but somehow I knew. I was no freak and I had no great looks… at least not good enough to be an object of desire. I just couldn’t make heads turn..! I was the one who desired rather than be the one who was desired.

Still, it’s taken some getting used to.

I would be lying if I were to say that I didn’t miss the thrill of being wanted. The subtle pleasure of acquiescence to somebody’s needs, the opportunity to say ‘yes’ instead of being asked,  ‘would you’?

The other day, a man -friend of a friend, distantly acquainted sat next to me in a local coffee shop. I could never figure out this day why he said what he said a little while later in a low voice leaning across. I can never make out, if it’s the academics that make everything desirable or if it takes sensuality out of everything”. He held my gaze after he’s done. It occurred to me that he was mocking me. Not giving up…so I smile and say, “It’s probably a little bit of both” and lean in for just a moment. The brazen ugly sparkle in his eye bemused me… the way he took a jibe at me. Then I lean away again and say, “But it’s’ probably more of the former, because I am married, happily so and gotten everything I want from this happenstance.”

I felt uncomfortable for quite some time … It scared me. Are we so free to say about things that are so unshakeable part of how we are to ourselves?

Today, though it’s a relief. I have seen people hide the truth of aging over their lives, chasing the desires and fantasies that I have neither had the time nor the inclination for. This is my body and I live in it more happily than I would endure the awful things I’d need to do to make it appear young again!

That the years weigh heavily on me, is because they were good years lived well and I have no intention to bid farewell to good things that lit up my sky today… everyday.

I wonder what makes us yearn so fervently to be desired, to wear a charm mesmerizing enough to change moods and make heads turn. What stokes the fear of being left behind’ that would otherwise carve an emotional wreck out of us ? Is there a way out?

Slight Smiles, Head Tilts, Tousled Hair: what this ‘allure’ is all about!

When it comes to beguiling, your looks could make you incredibly appealing even if for a short while. But deep down, we all are attracted more to carriage than other elements.

Humans are not as mysterious as they think. We have fairly expressive facial and body language cues to reveal our inner thoughts. Smile amongst them serve best in igniting the attraction even though it is not a definite facial cue.

The truth behind attraction rings differently for different persons.  I have always regarded it as a kind of invention. I think of it as an irresistible force to which we usually are in so thrall that we ignore its power to limit our choices. When we desire for someone, this all-consuming feeling turns overwhelming.  And when we become icons of attraction, we begin to fulfill all the slush fantasies.

Maybe… this is how it is meant to be. An overwhelming desire for another person stemming from a good deal of good looks!.

“If you knew the secret of Life, you too would choose, no other companion but Love”.- Rumi

It’s hard to believe in crush at first sight,  but I do believe in desire at first sight and I also believe that the knowledge of how to look attractive “has the highest regard and selling price tagged to it these days.

The inevitable business of finding happiness begins right here, something that is so hard to come by that we just couldn’t find it once for all and keep it safe in our pockets! Weirdly, as we chase it in seemingly brighter spots outside of us, describing happiness has turned complicated and experiencing it even more expensive.

The world is changing and so are we…looking for honest answers to how to be a head turner.

Searching for Answers in happiness sales!!

I am not getting into details of the trillions spent in selling happiness, but isn’t it true that every year with an increase in happiness sales (beauty products, luxury possessions, marquee outfits), the incidences of mental health concerns are only rising?

I find that our biggest mistake is that we have come to commercialize the path to happiness. From buying confidence swelling beauty products to selling vacuum cleaners to a happy family, all are there with the sole purpose to catch an eye and externalize happiness.

The joke is on us. It exists for free and not far, within each one of us. Haven’t we overrated our sense of happiness? Aren’t there so many other emotions to embrace besides this blind hunt to look great?

It could be the very cause of unhappiness!

I looked beyond grudges

My woes would have had lived on if I were to keep raking myself with this one single thought. What could possibly be wrong with me? Why people do not find me attractive enough to be desirable? Instead I chose not to shoot myself in the feet and  went about living a life aging gracefully and chasing desires and pursuits I never would have thought to be such a joy…the thrill of wanting myself…the joy of yielding to somebody’s needs.

Beyond the man made myth of finding joys in unseen lands, I realize that I am actually happier today for having struck fascination to myself.

It all adds up. Being okay with both the troughs and crests and not demanding highs alone, is all about growing subtly in life. I withdrew from this mindless chase to be wanted’ one out of a hundreds of emotions, glamorized and boldly coveted. I probably saved myself from pitching into dark depths of depression, anxiety and other inconsolable personal and social challenges.

Believe me, we cannot be happy “at all times”. That would be a manic behavior. But once you realize that it’s not inlooksbut in the meaningwe put to it that we find or miss this amazing emotion. The more we see it in what we have” and appreciate “what is”, the easier it is to find it.

After all I could succeed in hoodwinking my identity crisis!!

FIVE SIMPLE LIFE LESSONS THAT COULD MAKE PEOPLE FIND YOU MORE #ATTRACTIVE- BESIDES LOOKS!

Not everything’s always about looks.!!

Being attractive to other people is not always dependent on how we look. How many times have we seen the attraction go flying out of the window, the moment he or she opens his or her mouth? Truth is…the key to everything that fascinates others lies within us.

Find out what could make people find you awesome and more attractive- beyond the physical.

Sometimes even science can’t convince me. The most important characteristic is also the most basic. If I were to ask you what quality would you prefer most in a person, wouldn’t it be … kindness? Predictably, this is one positive sentiment that is shared right across the board and perhaps one benevolent choice that could make heads turn in appreciation.

This is kind of baffling!!.. because no where would you find advice on how to be niceexcept that we’d all be so much better off simply by being kind rather than spending hours in front of the mirror. And it doesn’t take a lot to reveal this. Being on time, letting the other order first and choose where to sit and being polite to the waitress… these small acts of kindness are clear ways to show that you are concerned…. and in all probability kind too.

But isn’t it true that when it comes to make a choice, it’s what the other person represents and symbolizes is more compelling and attractive? None of us would miss the opportunity to be rather the one that others look upon us to be, than judge ourselves the way we truly are.

Believe me, we all would readily gift ourselves this much of concession whenever the need arise.

The ultimate hunt : It’s ‘nice’ and ‘sensible’ that finish first

When men think of a companion they imagine a woman who is open for adventure, sensual and cares little or nothing for what others think of her. These are the women who prefer to play by their own rules and live by their share of ikigai.

Women also have their share of stumbling when it comes to being hearty in their priorities. Sensible choices manifest in laboratories only. It’s a bit different in real life. Slave to habits, women usually have a hard time breaking cycles of poor choices and keep falling for the wrong kind of guy. Even after they get burned they would go out and do it again.

Sadly, expectations do sometimes turn into ruined intentions. In a world where we endure a monotonous life with an overwhelming number of rules and regulations, we find allure of even bad mates as incredibly appealing. Sometimes the temporary excitement that this fascination represents is too much to just let go..

So, how do you find preference over others, when you know that people may doubt what they see in you but will believe what you do?

The fastest way to do this happens only if you turn yourself into a bundle of curiosity and start learning a few simple but rewarding tricks.

These three simple actions are the recipe to quick and amazing results. Follow them and you could actually redefine yourself as more attractive a person besides your looks, to be the right choice for those who prefer a healthy and everlasting relationship.

Forget playing it cool.

Even speed dating events – where decisions are made in mere matter of minutes- simple interest builds up attraction. So how to make heads turn and others take notice of you? Listen closely, inquire moderately, hold your tongue so that you appear more polite and less inquisitive and ask questions that are witty but not frivolous. Believe me, these are known to work like an aphrodisiac!!.. could kindle a flame in your companion and in all probability make the other person find you more attractive than ever before.

Consider body movements.

These simple muscle flexing activities are controlled by the limbic part of the brain, the one that is responsible for our feeling of fascination, attraction and eventually love. Leaning towards the other person, smiling, keeping eye contact, are the three positive body actions that needs no words to build a connect to your advantage.

A smile is worth more than a thousand words.

“The things  I found most beautiful about a person are almost never physical”. # Slickwords

A positive personality always bridge emotions and physical attractiveness. It’s not groundbreaking of course but men are indeed attracted to pleasant, cheerful and positive women. These personality attributes blend easily not only because of their intense physical appeal but because they carry social attraction as well- a key issue when it comes to choosing a soul mate.

Of course, a lot depends on the context of the man in question, his age, maturity level, relationship status, and current needs in life— just a few of the many factors that are key to his attraction toward women.

This isn’t to say that you need to put on a happy face 24/7, but if you focus on being friendly and are open to meeting new people, it’s a win-win. Wisely put it’s all about having a open mind, warm heart and longing soul behind a smiling face that makes the day for those who are in the fray to win.

The truth holds something more respectful for a woman. It’s her unique hobbies, skills and interests that make her more attractive as a relationship partner. There certainly is no need for her to be the same as everyone else to be attractive. Being herself is always a much better choice. The more she could demonstrate her true self, the more she could make a man feel as if he has met the most wonderful person of his lifetime.

Happiness is actually is one most attractive emotion expression and a smiling face draws admiration all round. A scowling one definitely isn’t the right choice for anybody to draw attention let alone win over appreciation. When you smile and generally look happy, you look more open and less intimidating.

Remember…a smile could move mountains!!

Down to basics of attraction

Deep down, do guys really prefer nice women?

Yes, but men strongly associate nice woman as one who is not twice as funny, exciting and open as they fantasize.  Of course this is not meant to be a blanket statement and often not true, but then perception is everything.

And how could a girl attract a nice guy?

The best she could do is to demonstrate alluring qualities of a bad girl as imagined to have, without actually being bad. Its not a hard guess to know what guys want. She could show that she is open to trying new things, love being funny, adventurous, exciting, and has a sensual side too, without staging all the drama that a typical male fantasy brings to the table. The more she could portray these while still being the one elusive nice girl, the more she could make a man feel weak at knees.

For men, the excitement of an adrenaline rush would not be easy to pass by.

Don’t let go of people who could make you smile, laugh and feel loved

Being and remaining attractive to other person could be hard when you are looking for a long term relationship. Even in a new one, finding ways to spruce up your attraction don’t come easy. But, lesser attraction doesn’t mean that your relationship is doomed. If you run out of luck to look attractive to your partner despite having tried different techniques, its time to revisit your relationship.

Sometimes attraction thins away when we ignore what we have faltered in.

It’s all about priorities and deciding what one truly wants in life. Once we come to terms with the poor choices that we make while trying to look amazing to other and what we truly want in the other person instead, we can help ourselves and make the right decisions. Could there ever be a better emotional reward for us than to turn compelling and truthful in our choices?

Being attractive and building upon a soulful relationship has its own share of sins and doesn’t come easy. You need to take time off to get to know the other person, change from strangers to friends and see them in every single light you ever wanted in the first place.

So, learn to revel in your true self and the better side of you will find ways to reveal itself… beyond physical of course.

With any luck you might find the mysterious connection of being attractive –inside out more rewarding than you would have ever thought.

Winning over a heart is no big deal if you know what it takes to make you ‘so desirable’

You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.” – Oscar Wilde

You could be a good looking person with a fair iota of intellect yet you secretly marvel at the ease with which your BFF earns attention than chasing it.

Or you could be in the midst of your admirers and still reel in awe over his or her ability to get the heads turning.

But when have you ever been yourself …just what you loved in the first place?

There is nothing more unappetizing than that desperate urge that comes with needing the approval of others. We all have felt it at one time or the other. If you constantly try to assure yourself and barge into other’s lives for the sake of being noticed then you are not the standout choice to be reckoned seriously. Attention earned without begging for it is what I call admiration and the one that you get by throwing yourself at others face is no better than a sign of pity.

Is it difficult to be compelling?

The good news is that being desirable, stealing someone’s heart or even storming into it isn’t as complicated as you would think!! So long as you are honest to yourself and treat the people around you well…. heads will turn. Of course, not everyone around you will look your way but you will draw attention of the type of people that are there for the right reason… to enhance your life.

Some of the biggest decisions we make in our lives are driven by desire to draw attention. We look for things that appeal us most even if we can’t explain why a particular person seems more attractive than others.

So if you are looking for ways to make yourself a standout choice for a warm heart- so discreetly drawn to you and un-apologetically storm into it, consider following these powerful yet easy to follow choices that go beyond the physical;

Closet your sorrows and look happy

Too often we fall shy of our passions and hobbies… ashamed how others may judge us for them. What we don’t realize that by doing this we make ourselves more boring and unappealing. We believe that hiding ourselves like this is one way to impress others around us. But bruised conscience is what makes people see through that false perfection. It isn’t about being perfect, it’s about impressing people with what you truly are. So drop that scowl and smile… .Your genuine self is more endearing and attractive than you would have thought. It’s generally regarded as sexist and patronizing when we are told how we should look in our faces. Obviously this hurts .One should never be told how one’s face should look but it does give an insight to what  is meant  when we say  ‘I would find you more attractive if you smiled’.

Happiness is actually is one most attractive emotion expression and a smiling face mirrors your state of your mind. A scowling one definitely isn’t the right choice for you to draw any attention let alone win over somebody’s heart.

So when you smile and generally look happy, you seem more open and less intimidating. It certainly helps if you look like you are not going to reject immediately. If you want to be approached then you should look approachable. For once just flash a warm smile and you will find a compassionate heart right under your nose in no time. All it needs is to open your heart for others.

And remember…a smile could move mountains!!

Help yourself with a great sense of humor

There is no denying that humor is important for both sexes but in different ways. Even by modest standards, gals are drawn easily to a man who is funny, makes them laugh or at least listen to lighten the mood. Guys’ choices on the other hand find favor with a gal who thinks he is funny and will laugh at his jokes. Whatever… it works great if you give the other a break, laugh politely howsoever terrible and unfunny the joke might be. Just laughing a bit helps both feel good.

Your excitement could ruin the vibe

It’s normal to get excited with the hope of a massive emotional reward . You consider this ‘important’ as the idea of getting ‘connected’ to somebody makes you feel special… the mere act of bringing it to life couldn’t be more thrilling.

However, the excitement and idea of ‘falling in love’ is usually short-lived. What allows you to really dig into it, get good at it and reach some level of success, rests on one basic attribute- modesty.  Be generous with it – though some of us find it an ugly trait for those who wish to shine. And restrain your ‘excitement’ even if it means being uncomfortable and smily ..all at the same time. How often would you find a person who would admire your little weird habits, pick up your dirty pieces and still say they like you at the end of the day?    

So… go gentle with your thrill experience .Your quest to find somebody who can make you laugh, smile , grow, want, crave, feel, make you mad but happy will have a perfect end.

Be ‘nice’ and ‘natural’

One predictable behavior that makes people find you attractive is .. you are nice’. You wouldn’t have found a guy who would confide; I’m so into her because she’s a shrew!”?  or a gal who would  jump around gossiping; hey! I fell for him because he is a jackass!”? Just as much gals won’t consider dating a jerk, guys probably won’t prefer a sulking grouch either. Being genuinely nice to people around you is what makes you more attractive than those who either don’t care or just don’t find it worthwhile to dig any further.

So, if you want ‘somebody’ nice to enter your life, be who you want to attract. People who are kind are attracted to like-minded and are turned off by morons.  Be polite, say ‘thank you’, listen attentively, don’t take anything for granted ,be your natural self… and eyes around you will start rolling admiringly.

Another interesting fallacy that makes us  so desirable, is equally perplexing. Gals tend to wear far more makeup thinking that guys like and would find them attractive and end up with way more of it than guys think they should. For guys less is always more, wear too much of it and you have jinxed it even before it all began. Nothing is anymore different for guys either. Rage of stylized haircuts, reeking deos , high-fashion clothing and accessories, offensive breath and you have begun on the wrong note.

It helps to have a great Life plan

Ambition and goal are the two most desirable attributes that make people follow people. These make you think about what you want to achieve and how you will get there. That you are capable of making informed decisions and a have sense of control over life, makes you the right choice to be desirable and attractive. Your willingness to consider other choices shows that you are capable of compromise and make other people want to go on the journey with you.

Spoil yourself

Most of us spend our adolescence and early 20’s for some kind of a forever’ love, one that is enchanting and mesmerizing.. one that we could melt ourselves into to be happy and ..loved.  That’s so insane!!

We all are blessed with an uncanny sense to spot those who fail to take care of themselves and always lean on someone to ‘complete’ them without lifting a finger to be ‘complete’ on their own.

Don’t let yourself be dragged into this. It’s miserly and lonely. Learn to be okay all by yourself. Eat healthy and to your fill, Exercise if you may and find things that makes you happy and joyous. Listen to those nice things that you have always wanted others to tell you. Be kind to yourself for who else is more worthy of it than you? And remember… self care doesn’t stop even when you are single. Push hard and make it your daily practice.. for you do not want a relationship  you want one to last you a lifetime.

Stop worrying

No need to worry if you keep striking and miss out miserably. It could be just because you’re choosing the wrong ones at the wrong times. More likely it could be something to do with you.

Now is the time to make a new beginning. Mend your ways and find peace with yourself. With some little reminders you can start doing things differently and see where that takes you. It’s always so easy to fall in love but so hard to find someone who could catch you.

Whatever… there’s always that one. And when you find them, you will get to know.

Seven timeless habits that could help you win Friends and influence People !!

Each one of us makes his own weather, determines the color of the skies in the emotional universe which he inhabits “.    -Fulton J. Sheen

You could be really good in your work and yet marvel at the ease with which your Boss sums up the day with a flourish. But when have you ever been just what you loved in the first place? You are merely defined by your roles. Your desire to be more than a performer and be a McCoy in ‘fit all’ roles is a moot point of social absurdity in your everyday life.

So!…ever wondered what allows him to achieve so much with so little efforts?

Like the top of the tree, it is our personality that people see first. Of course image, skill, and techniques carry their influence, but the real source of lasting effectiveness lies in strong character, the roots.

These timeless insights hold the key to most of our personal and professional life issues and could well change the way you may be interpreting success.

Everything begins with an end in sight

Would you tell me please which way I ought to go from here?”“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to” said the Cat... “I don’t much care where…” said Alice…“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

From Alice in Wonderland

Living by the design of things is the first step to a private victory. A clear vision of what you want and for what purpose, decides what is and what is not important for you in the day. Once this becomes visible you can create a personal mission and live by it for improved outcomes.

Always remember that mental creation always precedes physical creation. Once you begin to visualize the outcome in every area of life before you act, your blueprint to success starts taking shape. Your vision becomes your guide for day to day decisions.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

When this happens, it’s time to reshape your future. But just don’t let others do it for you or even circumstances decide for you. What more turn a blind eye to the wisdom of others. Consider it only as a temporary restraint , no more.

Be responsible for your choices for you chose wisely

“When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves”                                                                                                     -Viktor Frankl

For the third time this week, your company is rumored to be undertaking restructuring, for Covid crises have hit its anchors hard. You feel threatened and might even believe it to be true. You are aware that the finance department is searching for ways to latch on the expenses and save on company’s dwindling resources.

Lately you have suffered a bout of anxiety and have started feeling the scrutiny of the management. Recent failures stem from obvious reasons but the management has so conveniently begun to blame you and hold you squarely for dips in performance. Every day in Office you could feel your Boss staring at you across the floor with utter disdain in his eyes boring down your neck. You are damn sure that your impunity is short lived.

You believe that you have contributed significantly over the past seven years but you are not certain that the management is even aware of your value addition to the company. You and your team had worked so hard to develop good relations both in- house and with businesses but seems like everybody is turning a blind eye to your sweat.  Your department is slated to be downsized and you may be fired.

The first thought that will cross your mind is, what has conspired against me? Am I merely a victim of circumstances? or have I not made my choice wisely?

It’s not unnatural to defy the habit of choice. Most of us do not allow ourselves the freedom to choose between choices and rather resign to turn of events and circumstances.

So what could you do to un-ruffle the wet feathers? I would say you hit the pause, mull over it and then react proactively.  Think of what all lies all beyond your present. Start choosing between the options if you think you cannot salvage anything from this unworthy situation. Focus on what lies ahead than stay fixed with your present misadventure. Whatever you do, just be compelling in your choices and actions.

In any case your dependence on this job is no more than a private victory’ bereft of any synergy with your capabilities. Shed your loneliness and learn to expand your circle of influence. Be more aware of yourself and become a transition person. Your ‘interdependence’ shall change hands with independence ‘in no time and creativity shall take hold of your life for good.

One thumb rule that you should never let go is  learn to be yourself and focus on things you can influence. Only then you can expand your knowledge, experience, trustworthiness and above all your circle of influence.

First things always come First

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least”.                         – Johann Goethe.

Prioritization of things has an unmistakable reputation of giving better results and fewer hiccups. Focus on things that are important and urgent first and put the unimportant ones at the back of the shelf, although you have to deal with them anyhow.  

This rule defies all logic, for you may be required to multitask and deliver altogether, but remember, it is the compass that must always come before the clock because  where you are headed is more important than how fast you are getting there. So always live North of the line and remember what is urgent need not always be important. Needless interruptions, unnecessary reports, meetings, phone calls, mails may be urgent but not important. Crisis, pressing problems, deadline driven projects, meetings reports override all other priorities and come first above all. Likewise issues like preparation, planning, recreation, relationship building is important but not urgent. Trust me, effectiveness stems from your integrity once you begin to act on your priorities.

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Fall for the habit of mutual benefit : Its intoxicating to think win-win

What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other “.                      – George Eliot

Effective long term relationships thrive only on mutual respect and benefits. Foster them. Strike rich relationships . Work on the belief that there is plenty out there and more to spare. Once you have struck a balance between courage and consideration, your win-win systems have already been built with faster solutions to problems. Workaround for a solution that works good for both rather than look for success expending and excluding others.

Believe me, these win-win frameworks work great when you are clear and vocal in your expectations, eager to delegate responsibilities and ready to work with conflicting priorities.

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Learn to understand to be understood

“Listen or your tongue will make you deaf”     – Unknown

To communicate and understand each other, you must learn to listen, for listening empathically is your first step towards influencing others.

Most of us do not spare necessary time and effort to properly diagnose the symptoms and rush to prescribe solutions. We assume that we have understood the issue well and hasten with a quick advice. This usually falls flat for we communicate from our own frame of reference. This is nothing unusual for we all are blessed naturally with this gift of communicating. We advise, probe, interpret and evaluate based on our own experiences and motives. We communicate merely our likes and dislikes. So what happens is that we feel we do not understand and likewise the other person doesn’t feel understood. This contemptuous disregard for each other’s ideas, priorities, intent and  an overwhelming urge to prevail upon, will fail you to ‘hit the brief’ every time you turn vocal .

The key to this mutual miscommunication lies within you only. Give a patient hearing to what others have to say and you will find that you are more likely to get the results you want than ever.

Solutions to complex problems have their roots in clarity on real issue. And what more once you learn to listen you can always teach to learn.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

“The enemy of the best is the good”.            -Voltaire

People are often overwhelmed by the difference of opinion, perspective and the background of the issue. Rummaging through umpteen courses of actions is merely confusing and often let you down.

One way to swim out of this cesspool of uncertainty is to identify the common purpose, look around you, search and learn the differences. Once you have done so, rewire your mindset. Celebrate these differences rather than tolerate or even accept them and you could well be rewarding yourself with the third alternative “Our Way”. Once you get rid of first two choices-‘my way’, ‘your way’; you are more likely to end up with an idea that is better than what you started with.

And when would you know that you have created a third alternative? You will get to know this; when you have a change of heart, see things differently and begin to find a new way together. For once, fall in for the habit of creative cooperation and see amazing things begin to happen.

Use a benchmark to check your effectiveness

“To keep the lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it”- Mother Teresa.

Focusing only on getting the golden eggs has always been a lot more ineffective than nurturing the goose that lays them.

While we learn to renew ourselves regularly we often encounter mental obstacles such as feeling too busy, lack of enough self discipline to stick to our commitments. These are harassing moments and need you to be strong. Even your petty chores like mind over mattress’ (getting up in time), eating healthy or sticking to reading regimen even when you are busy will sharpen the habit of renewal.

In turn you will have an insight of your effectiveness from your point of view as well as from the viewpoint of those around you. Better still set up a benchmark to see if your capacity has improved, relationships have bettered and there is continuous improvement in your productivity. As you explore you will become more aware of your level of effectiveness.

Once you recognize how you want to see yourself and how others see you, things will turn easier and your ‘Private victory’ will morph into a ‘Public victory’. Things once familiar and dull will for once start looking amazing and may even reveal the real McCoy in you.

One reason why the World will not fail this time -Gene therapy is one step closer to reality!!

Stuck between social fatigue and damning dismay, a restless world waits out the pandemic, leaning an overwhelmed healthcare system. With virus more likely to reactivate rather than re-infect, any anti science attitude will only push the nail harder and hurt deep.

It suddenly leaped to my face and hissed; “You will never be able to get rid of me… I will see to it that you rot in pain and die a horrifying death all alone … you scum”!!… The spines all over its body looked familiar. I peered closely and drew in sharply….the shiny spines looked more like okra pods split in half and stuck all over the body. it

My heart was pounding hard and I noticed I had broken into a cold sweat. “It’s just a dream”. “Its over now, everything is just fine. A new swanky day like so many, is here. Life is sweet as ever”; I could hear myself saying over and over again to nobody.

Last night I had slept alone and had nightmares.

And then it hit me hard “The nightmare is far from over. We are still fighting. The battle of sorts is still being waged”.

Dismayed like millions around me, I feared for myself and I feared for the world around me. I felt sorry for those who lost the battle not knowing what hit them and died a lonesome death.

Is it that fearsome? Is the life as we know it really going to change?

Curiosity got better of me and I thought I ought to look around and see what is there to know

Mystery surrounding viruses has more than meets the eye.

To begin with I searched around to know what a virus is, how it looks like, how it behaves and why all hell has suddenly broken loose across the globe.

Current science describes a virus as a nucleic acid molecule wrapped in a protein layer. It is potentially infectious, too small to be visible even by a light microscope, lies dormant and comes to life and multiplies dramatically only within the living cell of a host.

Nucleic acid is Nature’s one most unique life form and the primary building block to engineer what we know as ‘ Virus’. These are essentially large bio molecules inseparably vital to all living things, are chain like and are composed of a series of nearly identical building blocks called nucleotide. Cut things short, nucleic acid is the overall name for DNA and RNA.

Viruses are the most abundant biological entity on this planet and are whoppingly enormous in numbers; roughly 100 million virus to match every cell in our body. However because of their extremely small size, the mass tied up in these viruses is no more than 5% of the entire prokaryotic biomass on the planet. Also, because of their enormous presence almost 20% of the bacterial mass in the Oceans is infected by viruses every day.

Prokaryos as we know are unicellular organisms that lack organs or any membrane bound structures, do not have a nucleus but a single chromosome with a piece of circular double stranded DNA, all tied up and placed within an area of the cell called nucleoli.

CoVID-19 the most recent of the corona virus family was largely unknown, till the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 and turned pandemic wreaking economies and terminating more than a million lives across the globe.

What size fits corona virus

Quite a bit. A comparison between more common and well understood viruses

With a diameter of 22 nano meters, the measles virus is 8 times smaller than E coli bacteria, at 45 nm hepatitis virus is 40 times smaller and the polio virus is 30 nm across, let’s say about 10000 times smaller than a grain of salt. Actually it’s the size difference between the bacteria and virus that gave the first clue that the viruses did exist.

Particles of corona viruses (also known as ‘virion’) are spherical in shape and between 60 nm and 140 nm in diameter, averaging about 124 nm. This means that corona virus is smaller than PM 2.5, but larger than some dust and gas particles.

How it breached our defenses

We all know for sure that the virus escaped animals and reached the humans How ? ..Nobody knows for sure.

A strain of corona virus similar to SARS-CoV-2 -the cause of CoVID-19 and the one that is infecting humans- has been traced back to the Malayan ‘Pangolin’ population of Southern China, though the role of pangolins as intermediate host or the evolutionary pathway by which this virus traveled to humans, is still unclear. Wet markets meanwhile are a major source of concern as zoonotic transmission to humans has not been ruled out.

Why some of us are hit harder than others

Excepting those with history of co morbidity- one that accounts for severity of complication and fatality- many of us though afflicted, may never get sick or experience the symptoms. Is it possible that genetics could be influencing the severity of symptoms? 

We know for sure that tiny variations in genome sequencing in humans alters a person’s chance of contracting infection. These variations decide how our immune system would respond once the virus has lodged itself in our body. In few fatal cases one probable reason was found to be the onset of an immune response called ‘cytokine storm’ in the body; a surge of self-destructive cytokine molecules in the DNA, that occurs the moment it detects the virus. This disrupts the cell metabolism with fatal consequences.

Is Gene Therapy the answer to all our ills?

If you ask me..in all probability-Yes. An alternate to build upon within chaos is always a good bargain.

Here’s why .

Gene therapy is meant to introduce genetic material into cells, if abnormal genes are detected or beneficial protein is lacking. A normal copy of the gene is required to be introduced for restoring the function of the protein-the organic molecules found within every living organism .Made up of chain of amino acids, proteins serve various body functions like structure, transport and more particularly Defense. Some specific examples of these proteins are collagen, insulin and antibodies.

A gene once inserted does not function of its own but a carrier (generally called’ vector’) works as a delivery agent and transports the gene to the targeted cell. What is surprising is that certain viruses also work as carrier because they can deliver customized genes – one which do not carry any disease- to cell except what they are programmed to carry. One such type of virus called ‘retrovirus’ integrates it’s genetic material including the new gene to the chromosome in human cell. Yet another type known as ‘adenovirus’ introduces its DNA only into the cell. This DNA is not integrated into a chromosome, leaving it to the cell to decipher and combine of its own.

How the therapy may work

Theoretically at least for now.. we presume that it will work though extent of success is still uncertain and open to debate.

One way this therapy could work is to directly inject the vector carrying modified gene from where it will travel to individual cell. Yet another one is to expose the patient’s cell to this modified gene carrying vector and then return it back to the body. If everything goes well, this new gene will generate functional protein and in turn guard the body from infection to severe infection. However, transporting a gene to a particular cell and its controlled functioning once inside, is a challenge sans answers till this day. Also, since clinical presentation of the infection varies from person to person, same therapy may not be the right answer for infections across the board.

The success of this therapy rests