Monday, September 29, 2008

Star-calories!!

I know I am going to take a lot of flak for this!! But let me get it off my chest. I hate Starbucks coffee. There! I said it! Now have I become the social outcast?

I find Starbucks coffee overrated, overpriced and most of all, overcalorific!!
When I drink their coffees, I need to add a a lot of milk and sugar to make it palatable. And needless to say, adding a lot of milk and sugar is like saying "Bring on the calories!!".

One Starbucks everyday will probably add another 300- 500 calories of overload to your system. That is, if you manage not to be tempted by the muffins and other desserts on display.

Of course, there are the lite versions of beverages also. It's all about choice, ultimately but if your will power is not strong enough, you might find yourself heavier on the scale.

What I find appalling in restaurants or in places where people prepare your food, other people do not have any considerations in respecting your body!! If I order a grilled fish sandwich, the guy slathers the butter on and on. If I order a Starbucks coffee, they give me extra whipped cream and chocolate in it as a gesture of goodwill!! When you notice how other people prepare your food, you really understand why home cooking is the best since you would probably take more care in preparing your food!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Brown bag it!!


A recession usually brings out the culinary staple in many!! Which is the ubiquitous Brown Bag Lunch!!
Brown bagging it not only goes easy on your wallet but will probably leave you lighter on the scale as well. In fact, bringing lunch to work puts you in the driver's seat to control what food you eat unlike going to a restaurant where oil is used in excess, probably cooked in reused oil ( a common cost- cutting strategy in restaurants is reusing cooking oil which ups your blood pressure) and not cooked hygienically to boot.

Brown bag lunches don't have to be boring. Here are some tips to make your lunches healthy yet exciting!!
a) Tuna salad with cucumber and tomato
b) Cold pasta salad with Chicken and vegetables
c) Tortilla wrap with chicken or cheese and tomato
d) a bowl of oatmeal with bananas and milk

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fresh!!


I love having fresh food. Freshly prepared food with fresh vegetables and fruits, brimming with (what else)"freshness"!!

And do you have any idea how difficult it is to find fresh food? So much of food that we consume today is full of preservatives, colorings, synthetic ingredients. Even your apples are suspect as they are coated with wax to prevent them from spoiling.

In our quest for convenience, we have lost our taste for good food. No wonder people binge on "comfort foods" like a bag of chips or cheese pizza!! Our tastebuds have become so simplistic that we like foods which are either sugary such as doughnuts, sweets or salty such as chips and pretzels or meaty such as burgers. I was surprised when someone asked me why I was drinking milk without sugar. Why do I need refined white sugar to mask the natural, inherent sweetness of milk? We need to get back to our basics and not cloak foods with additives.

A freshly prepared meal with salad and natural flavors will probably overload our tastebuds!! Mediterranean and Japanese diets, which do not smother food with spices but rather let the natural flavor of food speak for itself, are unsurprisingly the healthiest diets to follow.

Best Cholesterol-reducing food!!

Which food has the potential to reduce your cholesterol and LDL levels?
Which food has the capacity to add fiber and a rich content of protein?
Which food can suppress hunger better in comparison to other foods?

That's right! It's the very humble porridge! Before you pooh- pooh on why, how and what this miracle food can do for you, let me personally assure you that this is true.

Oats is really a miracle food that reduces your cholesterol levels when taken one cup a day and the result in your LDL (bad cholesterol) levels is seen in within 30 days. This is due to an ingredient called beta- glucan present in oats.

Oats has so many benefits such as being chock-full of fiber, having a rich content of protein (second only to soyabean protein in vegetable protein ranking!!) and is a whole-grained food.

Besides, for all you weight-watching warriors, this might just be the food to fill up your tank for a long, long time as it has a low glycemic index. Which in plainspeak, means that after eating oats, it takes a longer time for the glucose to wind up in the blood levels. So you feel fuller longer and will help control your hunger pangs!

So cut out the refined foods in your diet like bread and pizza and substitute it with oats. And instead of wasting money on synthetically prepared milkshakes or other supplements, consider having one cup of oats a day. Oats can be dressed up with milk (low-fat) and bananas or other berries.

100g of dry oats contains 390 calories with 62g of carbohydrates, 11g of protein and 8g of fat. One serving can be considered as 50g of dry oats since one cup of water is added to one cup of oats in cooking.

Update- Oats is a rich source of inositol, also known as Vitamin B8. This is a known anti-depressant which is used to treat depression, anxiety and stress- related disorders. It truly is a miracle food!!

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One Deep Breath before we embark on a journey of fitness, health and good living!!