13 Feb 2012

Healthy And Eco-Friendly Kitchen

Hello Heathizens!
I am sure you must have read the previous post
Eat a lot of in-season things

Well about the current topic:
      I am sure many of you must have heard this - The Health of a family depends on the cleanliness of the kitchen in that Household. I personally love the sight of a spic and span kitchen throughout the day but especially in the morning because that's the first thing I see in the morning!
And no matter how many efforts are needed I make sure I clean it completely after dinner-time. It gives a good start to my day!

So that's the theme of this post, Some ideas to make our kitchen and thereby our lives Eco Friendly and Healthy.
A)  Decrease the use of Plastic

        Okay I know, Pet bottles are our best friends in the kitchen because of their Durability, Unbreakability, Variety etc etc. but this plastic is very dangerous!
Let us know why?

         Plastics are highly fat-soluble, which means they are more likely to contaminate fatty, oily foods like meat, cheese, dairy, oils like vinaigrette dressings.
        There is a class of chemicals identified as Xenoestrogens/ Endocrine disrupting hormones/ Environmental hormones a type of Xenohormone that imitates Estrogen and are widely used in industrial compounds like PCB, BPA and Pthalates.
These are structurally similar to estrogen that our body makes. The Xenoestrogens are environmental polluters(air, food, water) and are a result of increased chemical use in daily life – pesticides, fertilisers, plastic, even fabric softeners, bleaching agents, mosquito and pest repellants, make-up, soaps etc. Since it is structurally similar to estrogen means it will take its place in our body and disturbs every others hormone more specifically androgens and testosterone. Some of the after effects can be – miscarriage, cysts, high blood pressure, mood savings, more body fat etc.
One simple tip- If you buy food in plastic - e.g.:cheese - Trim away the exterior of the food that was in contact with the plastic.

     Some tips to help you out:
1)    Replace buying bottled water in plastic with simple stainless steel water bottles for the whole family.

     This one tip can save money in the hundreds of dollars per year (and maybe thousands, depending on how much you spend) at the grocery store. If that’s too much at least DONOT stock the plastic bottles at home, the plastic used for making such bottles is not good for Reuse (and the company people Do Mention this on the bottom of the packs, Don’t They?)

2)    Do not store fat-laden or oily foods in plastic containers.

3)    Don’t store use plastic containers for long term storage of foods

4)    While using a microwave oven, don't heat food items in plastic containers, even if they are microwave safe, Use glass/ceramic containers instead.

5)    Wash plastic containers separately. Refrain from putting them in the dishwasher.

6)    Throw away Old, Dry, Brittle /Cracked plastic containers - these properties are signalling loudly - ‘Shelf Life Over’ Please include very low quality plastic containers in the list too!

7)    Start replacing existing plastic containers for Glass, Ceramic or Stainless-steel storage containers.

8)    And Yes! Please stop Asking for Plastic bags at the Sabziwallah and also hoarding 
those bags thinking it would be of great use in the Kitchen.

9)    Use bamboo baskets or Jute baskets (hanging ones) or steel baskets for storing vegetables rather than plastic.
Just Remember the fact that plastic simply isn't eco friendly!

B)   Reduce the use of Paper towels and Napkins.

        Sounds unhygienic ..No. Think about the trees that need to be cut down for the making of these napkins and towels. 
1)    Use Cloth napkins, Put them for washing separately DAILY.

2)    You can use SKOY cloths (It is completely bio-degradable - Found this on Internet, although am yet to see this in India)

C)   Try to use natural cleaning agents
      Tamarind pulp, Lemon juice and Vinegar are better ways of keeping you utensils and platforms healthy and smelling nice.
1)    Making a mix of Lemon juice and Vinegar and keeping it in a Spray bottle helps. (It can be used for cleaning platforms and table tops too!)
2)    Lemon rinds leftover from the salads can be used to clean the greasy surface of ‘Kadhai’ and such utensils.
3)    The outer covering of Dry Coconut is also a good scrubbing agent.
4)    Cowdung Ashes (If available can be used for cleaning utensils) 

D)    Save Water
     The most disrespected commodity, perhaps because we get it for FREE!
     Forget running the TAP On.

     Use 2-3 large vessels and according to your need keep hot /cold water in them. Wash your veggies/fruits with that stored water and use the same for watering your plants or cleaning of bathroom etc. Just imagine how many litres of water you’ll save by this!

That was all from my end :)
Mangez séjour healthy
(Eat Healthy Stay Healthy!)

9 Feb 2012

My Experience Of 1st Anaemia Awareness Camp (2012) At SVNIT Surat

Hello everyone!

I have posted a blog article on the above mentioned article on my another blog 

Vivir Cada Momento

Hope that makes an interesting read for you all. 
And yes this would be my first post with my pictures on it!
The courtesy for the suggestion goes to Mr.Rahul Desai  
: )

Have a Super Weekend!

Comer sano y mantenerse saludable
Eat Healthy & Stay Healthy

6 Feb 2012

5 Ways To Improve Your Diet Routine - Part 4 of 5

Hello Healthizens!
Hope you are already following the tips given in the previous post: Munching is good but only when you munch the right things

The other points in this series are:
1) Include variety of vegetables in your diet
2) Prefer to have your bowl of Soup, Salad, Curd /Buttermilk before Meals.
3) Munching is good, but only when you munch the right things.
4) Eat a lot of In Season things( fruits and vegetables).
5) All of this should be a component of your meals during the entire day: 
Chapati/  Roti, 1 Big Katori (Seasonal)Vegetable, Dal, Rice, Salad(all seasonal raw veggies, this includes Sprouts too!), Curd/Buttermilk and last but not the least - Fruits

4) Eat a lot of In Season things( fruits and vegetables).

            Although nowadays we get all fruits and vegetables in all seasons, their nutritional content is at its peak during its season.

Other benefits
1) Lesser number of Preservatives added.(added during growing harvesting and for storage)
2) Good for your Health since it has not been transported from long distances hence the freshness of the fruit would be at its peak!
3) Easy on pocket.
4) Every seasons' fruits and vegetables are designed by Nature to suit the season (summer winter etc) and hence Nutritional status would be better than the non-seasonal ones.
5) In season foods taste better than non-seasonal ones! You can try it yourself.

Although Seasonal food can be boring sometimes but its Pros definitely exceed its Cons

A common observation says:
  • Mangoes, Watermelon, MuskMelon, Jamun are very sweet and taste the best during Summers. 
  • Similarly Guava, Sapota (Cheeku),Orange, Sweet lime, Water chestnut(Singhada) taste best during Winters. 
  • Corn (Bhutta), Litchi, Peaches taste the best during Monsoons.
(There can be many more fruits and veggies that can be added to the list according to geographic locations)

So be judicious and choose more Healthy and Nutritive foods i.e.: Seasonal foods.

Happy Eating!

Hasta Pronto (See you soon)

We shall meet again with a post on 'Healthy Kitchen'

2 Feb 2012

Anaemia - Very Basic Information

Hello everyone!

Hope you have read the last post: 5 ways to improve your-diet routine

I like February -  the month with lesser number of days and more number of things to be done in that time frame : )
A background as to why am I writing a post on Anaemia. 
I have worked with 2 members of FOGSI in 2008-09 Dr.Usha Valadra and Dr.Sanjay Shah in association with Emcure Pharma and conducted Lectures on Anaemia Awareness in Lourdes Convent School and Lancer's Army School & SNDT Commerce College - in Surat. I liked the concept and now when I am back to Surat for few days I thought of taking this concept forward and taking camps across as many Schools and Colleges as possible.

          Okay that was an introduction to this concept. Anaemia as such is a very big topic but I am covering only the very general and Basic information which almost everyone of us being Literate and Aware Healthizens should be aware about :)

Let us start with the very very basic facts.

I am sure many of you would already be aware of this term
Anaemia in common understandable language is : Disease caused due to Iron Deficiency.
Normal Haemoglobin level in Females - 12-14.5 mg/dl 
This may vary in different age groups and conditions like Puberty, Pregnancy and Lactation.


1) Blood loss due to Excessive bleeding, Ulcers, Haemorrhage, Bleeding during delivery, frequent Blood Donation etc.

2) Defeciency of Iron during accelerated growth phase – Infancy, Adolescence, Pregnancy, Lactation etc.

3) Inadequate absorption of Iron: Diarrhoea, Sprue, Pellagra, Crohn's disease etc

4) Iron poor diet in Infants, Children, Teens and Vegetarians.

5) Certain Drugs, Foods, Caffeinated drinks etc.


Pale skin,  Anorexia (loss of appetite), Pica (eating abnormal things), Lethargy/Tiredness & Fatigue, Breathlessness on Exertion, 
Irritability, Insomnia (lack of sleep), Palpitation (Increased heart rate), Giddiness, Dimness of vision, Difficulty in breathing, Headache, Oedema (swelling due to water retention)

There can be many other or lesser symptoms but it all depends on causes of Anaemia because Anaemia is not just caused because of Iron defeciency.

The severity of the symptoms depends on the speed at which Anaemia develops in your body.


Fact No 1: Breast-milk contains less iron-content but has better absorption and digestibility than other milks.

Iron comes from 2 sources
HAEM – non-vegetarian
                                            NON-HAEM – vegetarian 

Other sources can be - Soil, water, dust & Cooking of food in iron-kadhai especially Green Leafy vegetables (Palak, Methi etc)

Iron rich food sources

Cereals: Bajra, Jowar, Rice flakes (Poha), Rice puffed (Mamra), Vermicelli (Sevai), Broken wheat(Dalia), Ragi (Nachni) etc.

Pulses: Soyabean, Masur, Math, Udad(Black gram dal) , Mung (Green gram dal), Chanadal, Desi chana (Horse gram), Kabuli chana, Rajma (Kidney Beans) Roasted chana (Daadiya), Chawli, Drypeas, Cowpea – almost all pulses are rich in Iron, etc.

Vegetables: Ajwain ke patte(Omum leaves) , Arbi ke patte (Colocasia Leaves), Sarson ke patte(Mustard leaves), Pudina(Mint Leaves), Muli bhaji(Radish leaves), Pyaz bhaji (Spring onion leaves), Cauliflower leaves, Raw banana (Plaintain green), Soya bhaji (Soyabean leaves), Shaljam ke patte(Turnip greens), Broccoli, Beetroot greens (Almost all green leafy vegetables are rich in Iron), etc.

Spices: Turmeric (Green turmeric)

Nuts, Dry fruits & Oilseeds: Dry coconut, Black & White Til(Sesame seeds), Pista (Pistachio), Charoli/Chiraunji , Groundnut, Niger seeds, Pumpkin seeds (roasted) , Almonds, Dried Dates, etc.

Fruits: Apple, Strawberry, Water-melon, Pomegranate – to some extent etc.

Others: Jaggery, Khoa, Cheese, etc

Fact No 2: Iron rich foods are better absorbed if taken with Vitamin C rich foods

Some of the sources of Vitamin C 

Amla(Gooseberry), Lemon, Orange, Sweet-lime, Pineapple, Guava, Cherries, Water-melon, Kiwi-fruit, Lichi, Cabbage, Drumstick, Mint leaves, Coriander leaves etc.

The facts mentioned below interefere with Iron absorption

1)  Using excess of antacids: eg: Gelusil, Eno, Digene etc. 

2) Using laxatives regularly, Instead increase your total water intake: 10-12 glasses a day. (Prefer having Hot water)

3) Avoid adding Soda, Aji-no-motto to foods (Did you know almost all outside food contains Aji-no-motto?)

4) Having tea/coffee immediately after meals/ snacks, prefer having it about 30-40 mins. (Tannin and Caffeine hinder Iron absorption)

Thats all for now. 
Good Day & Good Luck for Better Iron Levels!