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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mixed veggie raagi uttapa

This is again a recipe to make use of leftover batter -idli batter.

Ingredients : Left over idli batter-1 cup,raagi flour 1 cup,1/4 tsp hing,1/2 inch piece adrak ( grated),1 medium carrot ( grated),1 medium onion ( finely cut),curry leaves & coriander -finely cut & salt to taste.A small bowl of oil to apply on the uttapas whilst being cooked.If you like it spicy,also add finely cut green chillies to the batter.

Method : Mix all the veggies in the idli batter along with the raagi flour & hing.Add enough batter so that it has the consistency thicker than dosa batter.Keep it for 2-3 hours so that the raagi flour gets soaked.Now add salt-remember that idli batter already had salt.

Take a non stick tawa  & heat it on the gas. Spread a little of this batter from a ladle on the tawa.Don't try to spread it -it may break.Cover the tawa  with a lid & let it cook for a minute.Take out the lid .Spread a little oil on the uncooked side & turn it over.Again cover with lid.After a minute -take out the lid.If the uttapa is fully cooked,it will have a  milky coffee color.Take it off  from the tawa.Serve the uttapa with coconut chutni or chutni podi .

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Palak paratha

I make palak parathas so that my kid will eat palak in paratha form.

Palak is an excellent source of iron . Spinach or palak is also rich in manganese, magnesium, & vitamins like A, C, K & folic acid.

Ingredients: Half a bunch of palak leaves,1 cup  atta,1 tbsp besan, 3-4 tbsp oil,1 tsp lal mirch powder,1/2 tsp haldi,1/2 tsp powdered hing,1 tsp ajwain,1 tsp til( seasame seeds), 1/2 cup chaas  & salt to taste.

Method :Wash palak leaves thoroughly by soaking them in a large bowl of water for 10-15 minutes .Next drain the dirty water after removing the palak leaves on to a sieve. Pressure cook the plak leaves for 1 whistle. Let the cooker cool. Take out the cooked palak leaves & make a puree in the mixer .

Take atta , add all the lal mirchi powder,haldi, besan,ajwain,til,hing & mix .

Add the palak puree to  the atta spice mixture .Add little water or dahi or chaas if palak puree is insufficient to mke soft dough. Chaas or dahi is to give a tangy taste.

Now make lemon sized bowls of this mixed dough & roll into chapatis.Heat a tawa & put the chapati on that.Apply oil on the uncooked side.After the chapati changes color, turn it over & again apply oil on the side which is cooked.After the chapati becomes yellowish brown ,take it off from the tawa.

Repeat with other lemon sized balls & make remaining parathas.

Ajwain is to control flatulence & til provides calcium as also iron  . Besan to add protein content & make the parathas tastier ! Palak parathas can be served with dahi & achar.

This is another recipe for #livoenironchef entry for the Iron Chef contest on IndiBlogger.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sweet Potato snack

This is also known as ratalu khees in Marathi.It can be eaten during upvaas.Sweet potato has lot of fibre -hence it is very healthy.

Ingredients :3 medium sized sweet potatoes,one medium bowl  roasted peanut powder, 1 tsp jeera,1 green chilli,curry leaves,1/2 inch piece of adrak,some sprigs of coriander for garnishing, 1/4 tsp hing,one tbsp oil & salt to taste.

Method :Wash the sweet potatoes to remove the dirt.Then peel off the skin.Now grate it.Take oil in kadhai.Put jeera & hing.After jeera have spluttered,add the grated sweet potato,the green chilli,curry leaves & grated adrak .Close the kadhai with a lid.After a minute,add the roasted peanut powder to the kadhai & mix all. Close the kadhai -the snack is ready.Just add the salt & agin mix all.Close the kadhai.Put off the gas.

Garnish with coriander & squeeze a lemon  if you want a tangy taste.

Tip: Sweet potato gets cooked very fast-so you have to be very careful.Otherwise,it may get struck to the kadhai.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Kadhai Gobhi

I had sent in this recipe to HT cafe & it was in the weekly column "Ghar Ka Khana" on 16th April,2009.

Ingredients:250gm cauliflower cut into medium sized florets,2 carrots diced,6 beans cut into 1/2 inch pieces,1 small bowl of peas,1 large capsicum diced,1 medium sized tomato diced,1/2 inch ginger grated,1 large green chilli cut into 1/2 inch pieces,1 tbsp dhania powder,1 /2 tsp pepper powder,1 tbsp oil for cooking,1/2 tsp turmeric,1/4 tsp hing,salt to taste.
Method : Heat oil in the kadhai & add grated ginger & green chilli pieces.Then add cauliflower florets,carrots,beans & peas.Add turmeric & hing.Keep a plate filled with water on the kadhai whilst the veggies are getting cooked.Add a little water to the veggies in the kadhai to cook the veggies after 5-10 minutes of cooking.Once the veggies are tender,add capsicum.After 2-3 minutes add tomatoes followed by dhania powder,pepper& salt.After 5 minutes ,put off the gas.Garnish with coriander.

This is a sabzi wherein you can add aloos  & pyaaz also if you wish.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Raagi dosas

I had this leftover dosa atta ( it was more than 10 days old ).It was nearly one cup.I added 2 cups ragi atta ( nachni in Marathi) to this dosa Atta.By mistake I added more water.The consistency was watery -unlike dosa atta.
Then I added  grated ginger , jeera & also salt ( to taste).Then I poured two three ladles of the atta on the non-stick tawa.I did not spread it as the consistency was watery.I got the most fluffy dosas -full of calcium !

Ingredients-1 Cup leftover dosa atta,2 cups ragi atta,add water to get dosa consistency,add 1/2 inch ginger grated ,1 teaspoon jeera& salt to taste.Remember that there is already salt in the leftover dosa atta.
Method : Now heat a non-stick tawa & spread a ladle of the atta on the tawa.If it is watery,don't spread the atta.Just put blobs of atta near to each other so that they flow & join each other.After the side is cooked, apply a little oil on the uncooked side & turn it over.Then after a minute or less,take it off from the tawa.Your raagi dosa is ready to be eaten !

Tip You can also add grated carrots,onions,green chillies,curry leaves & coriander to the atta to make it more healthy.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cabbage paratha.

I  make cabbage parathas so that my daughter will eat cabbage.She loves them though I would apprecitae it more if she would start relishing  cabbage sabzi.

Ingredients : a quarter piece of a small cabbage, half an inch piece of adrak(ginger),one teaspoon lal mirchi ( red chilli) powder,half a teaspoon of haldi,quarter teaspoon hing,two tablespoons dahi or take  chaas ( buttermilk ) ,two cups atta , one tablespoon besan ,two table spoons oil &  salt to taste.

Method : Grate the cabbage & ginger.Add salt & keep for 5 minutes.Squeeze out the water.Now take atta,add besan,dahi or chaas,red chilli powder,haldi , hing  & salt .Mix all this into a soft dough by adding sufficient water.

Now make  lemon sized balls .Roll the lemon sized balls into parathas .Take a paratha & put it on the heated tawa.Smear a little oil on the uncooked side of the roti.After 2/3 minutes,turn over the paratha& cook on the tawa by smearing a little oil on the paratha.Cook till golden brown.Now take it out from the tawa.Repeat with other lemom sized dough balls.

Serve the parathas with dahi & achar or chutni.

Dahi or chaas gives a tangy taste to the parathas & is a source of calcium.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gajar halwa

I made this recently.I used to take out the malai from cow's milk which I buy daily.It is very little.I collected the mali for a week & kept it in the freezer.

I got four carrots ( available in winter ).They are what I would call bharatiy gajar.Not the chinese type which is available all the year around.

Ingredients:4 gajar,1 tablespoon ghee,1 medium bowl collected malai,1 medium bowl sugar,10 almonds,10 cashews, kishmish & cardammom ( 2 pods ).

Grate the gajar. Heat the ghee in kadhai.Now add the grated gajar,malai & suGar & mix with a ladle.Keep on slow flame.After every 5/10 minutes,keep mixing.It will start getting watery.Let it cook.Powder the cardamom.Add kishmish & cardomom  powder. After 20 minutes,it will become dry.Put off the gas.Garnish with fine pieces ( grate the almonds & cashews) of almonds & cashews.

This is almost fat free gajar halwa as the malai  used has hardly any  fat .Hence,very healthy !

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Savoury Chapati snack

My Maharashtrian friends have taught me a tasty chapati snack.

Ingredients-4-5 leftover chapatis ,  1 onion finely chopped, 1 small capsicum finely chopped, 1 green chilli finely chopped, 1 tomato chopped ( optional ) 1/ 2' ginger grated, 1/4 tsp haldi,1/4 tsp powder hing, 1/4 tsp mustard seeds,1 tbsp oil, salt to taste, a sprig of kadipatta ( optional ) , some fresh dhania.

Method : Take chapatis & break them into quarters& shred them into tiny pieces in your mixer by giving just 1-2 spins. Put off mixer.

Take a kadhai .Put the oil.in the kadhai to warm on the gas.When the oil is hot,put the mustard seeds.After they have spluttered,add onions & green chilli pieces & grated ginger.Fry till onions become transluscent.Now add haldi & hing.Add capsicum.Mix nicely.Fry all for 1 -2 minutes.Add tomatoes. Mix nicely.Add salt. Next, add the shredded chapati pieces.Mix all in the kadhai .ow,put off gas.

Your chapati snack is ready.You can also add jeera ,udad dal &  curry leaves whilst making the seasoning.Garnish it with coriander.Add a dash of lemon juice  before serving to give a tangy taste.4/5 leftover chapatis can serve 2 persons.

This is upcycling of leftovers to make a tasty snack which is healthy & gets ready fast ! And it helps in minimising of food getting wasted !

In case, one wants to avoid adding tomatoes, one can add lemon juice after gas is put off & mix it. Also can add gated carrots & fry them with capsicum.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Basket puri -a recipe.

I prepared this today-got basket puris from a local grocery store.One packet has as many as 40-50 basket puris.

For 10 basket puris ingredients needed are- one small bowl chana,one medium sized onion,100gm sev ( from your local bhel wala or any namkeen sev).

For imli chutni-a small  cherry sized  ball of tamarind,two dates soaked in water,red chilli powder(this is optional-it can be avoided) quarter tea spoon & salt to taste.

 I pressure cooked  some brown chana .Got bhujia sev ( Haldi ram's),cut onions finely.

I also boiled some imli ( tamarind) in cookerPosted by Picasa.Then squeezed the imli pulp & strained it.I added date jam ( dates can be soaked in water & then added as well ).Then ,I added salt as also red chilli powder.Then I boiled this mixture to get a sweet sour chutni.The consistency of the chutni must be like that of a paste. This is as per Tarla Dalal recipe for chaat chutni.Another option is to boil dates,imli & add a small piece of  crushed sunt (   dried ginger ) with salt added to get chutni.You can use jaggery also if you so desire instead of dates.If you don't want a spicy chaat chutni you need not add red chilli powder.

Now,I arranged some boiled chana in the basket puri,then the bhujia sev followed by onions,followed by the chaat chutni.I found that my chutni had become too spicy as I seemed to have added more of red chilli powder.So I added little curd on top of all this to neutralise the spiciness.

Chana is the protein source ,curd provides calcium,onion gives minerals &  sev is again besan -so protein.Dates & imli give you iron.So quite a healthy &  tasty snack.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Asian Age -Bachelor's Kitchen ( 22/11/09)

There are many instances when things accidentally happen and turn out to be "creatively delicious". This usually happens in cooking and the same thing happened to me when I accidentally made a yummy cheela out of rice.

I was supposed to cook normal boiled rice, as my mother was not at home that day.
Now usually what we do while cooking rice is that we add some extra water in rice and then rinse it off to avoid extra fat. So I added some extra water into the cooker and put the rice on the gas covered it with the lid and left it to boil.

Instead of standing there for 15 mins, I thought I'll watch TV. So, I came and sat on the couch and started watching a movie. As can be guessed, I forgot to check the rice.

By the time I remembered it, it was too late. The rice had turned into some porridge like thing. It was a white paste that was nothing close to what I had expected.

Ok, there was no solution and I wasn't willing to eat it that way. So I thought I'd use some creativity and this is what I did and discovered a new dish, which I proudly call "cheela Shikha" at times.

INGREDIENTS: (As told to Swati Vishnoi by Shikha Rawat,mediaperson) Boil rice, or rather overboil rice for about 30 mins. Add some black pepper, red chilli power and salt to taste. Mix well all the ingredients. Add some besan and mix well till it becomes a fine paste. Heat some oil in the pan. Spread the mixture like a dosa in the pan. Let it cook on one side and then turn it without breaking. Cook on other side. Add some more oil if it sticks to the pan. Garnish with hara dhaniya and hari mirch.

So the next time you do something accidentally, just add some creativity and relish your tasty accident. Over boiled rice Black pepper Red chilli powder Salt, to taste Cooking oil

Asian Age -Handy Tips ( 22/11/09)

Red bell peppers (which are fully ripe bell peppers) not just add a splash of vivid color to the dish, but they are also a great source of vitamin A than green or yellow peppers. They are also an excellent source of vitamin C.

To remove bitterness from karela (bitter gourd), slit it from the middle and rub a mixture of salt, wheat flour and curd over it. Keep aside for half an hour, before cooking.

Slice the bhindis (okra) lengthwise and dip it in a thin besan batter. Deep fry and serve it with a chutney to enjoy a yummy snack.

When using mushrooms in any recipe, add a little lemon juice to bring out their flavour.

HTBrunch -Hypertension

THESE DAYS, hypertension is a very common problem. It is a lifestyle disorder ­ not somehing you are born with, but something acquired due to a faulty lifestyle. Hypertension can vary depending upon different personality types.
People with a `pitta' personality, for instance, who suffer from hypertension, are usually prone to headaches, red eyes and digestive problems.

In the `kapha' kind of hypertension, we see that people, besides having high blood pressure, will also be obese and prone to high cholesterol.

In the `vata' kind of hypertension, we find that blood pressure keeps fluctuating and is connected to stressful situations. These people also have problems sleeping and suffer from gas.

You can use an integrated method to manage hypertension.
NUTRITION: The main emphasis is on avoiding foods that promote high blood pressure and replacing them with foods that lead to a normalising of blood pressure. Avoid non-vegetarian options, eggs, alcohol and tobacco.

Foods that help during an attack of high blood pressure are vegetable juices ­ both raw and fresh juices containing parsley, celery, spinach, carrot and raw potato. These ingredients act at many levels in the circulatory system to decrease blood pressure. Firstly, they help to balance the calcium, sodium and potassium levels of the body.

These salts have a key influence in normalising the flexibility of the blood vessels, which ultimately helps in the lowering of blood pressure.

Many research papers have also proved that consuming a clove of garlic daily has a beneficial effect in lowering blood pressure. Amla, in any form, is also beneficial. Other foods that are helpful include watermelon seeds and khus khus seeds ­ these should be crushed, mixed with a little milk and taken at night with an apple.

During an attack of high blood pressure, you must restrict the quantity of food and at night, just have an apple with a glass of skimmed milk to which the crushed seeds have been added.
PRANAYAM AND YOGA: Yoga is excellent when it comes to controlling high blood pressure. You can do the following pranayams ­ anilom vilom, sheetali, ujjayi and brahmbari ­ to manage episodes of high blood pressure. Omkara meditation ­ chanting `Om' ­ is a powerful way to control your nerves.
LIFESTYLE THERAPIES: Chamomile tea and chamomile oil are very relaxing for sufferers.
Lavender oil can also be applied on the pulse points at night before you go to sleep, and inhaled.


HT - Quick recipe-Nov,2009

Tomatao,carrot & zucchini soup

Ingredients: 1 medium finely chopped onion, finely chopped 2 cloves, 1 tsp ground coriander, 4 medium sliced carrots, 1 medium zucchini, sliced and halved, 5 diced tomatoes, 3 cups chicken broth, 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped.
Heat 2 tsp canola oil on medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic until soft. Add ground coriander and stir well. Add carrots and zucchini, followed by tomatoes and broth. Boil then reduce heat, cover. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add fresh cilantro.
Stir and simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer into a blender and blend until smooth.

HT Cafe ( 22/11/09) Lazeez Lauki

As the vegetable carts groan under the weight of the season's bounty, the writer in me gets an inspiration. It's a good time to take a good look at all the fresh stuff. I will take you through a few paras on a cousin of cucumber called lauki! What, did you say? It's not your favourite vegetable? And what do I have to say so much about it? Well, you don't know what happens when a chef puts on his thinking cap! Weight watchers' friend Lauki, which is also called dudhi, is bottle gourd in English, named thus because of its container-like shape.
But lauki in our house is considered a versatile vegetable--next to potatoes. Potatoes make you feel heavy in the stomach. Lauki has the reverse effect. No wonder, in our daily `watch-the-diet' planning of the menu, lauki takes on various forms.
Versatile gourd A Punjabi home would have lauki koftas at least every fortnight. And yes, I'm a Punjabi, so we do have lauki koftas often. But there's a difference--we steam them whereas most others deep fry the koftas.

But more on this later. These are then dunked in spicy onion tomato gravy. We make a lot of lauki raita too. It should be thick and chilled with a light sprinkling of red chilli powder and jeera powder. It's also a good accompaniment with any pulao. My wife, Alyona makes dudhi thepla and it's fascinating to see how she rolls them out so thinly! We have them straight off the tawa without oil! It's difficult to make dudhi muthia without oil, or any muthia for that matter, but my research on it will continue.
Why is lauki light?
It's suggested that one never eats raw lauki. But the juice of the vegetable is beneficial as it is cooling, calming and a good diuretic that helps to detox in summers.

Also, it helps to bring down the cholesterol levels. In the range of health juices, lauki juice with a pinch of salt wins because it gives relief from excessive thirst. So if you've had some fried stuff and feeling too stuffed, top it with a glass of lauki juice. Lauki is 96 per cent water, so it's light on the stomach. But can we go without the kadai? I mean deep fried food, specially the thin slices of lauki, sprinkled with salt, red chilli powder, amchur and then coated with besan and fried? These pakoras will fascinate your guests. Or dress up the lauki in a mussallam recipe. It requires rich ingredients like ghee, khoya and cashewnuts, but it's a royal Hyderabadi presentation.
Sweet and sour Or take another variation of lauki cooked with freshly roasted garam masala and tamarind and a generous amount of freshly scraped coconut. In a simple meal, steamed rice goes well with lauki chana dal, specially if the perfect sweet-sour punch is added. Another quick thing to do is pressure cooked lauki with aloo in tomato gravy. It goes well with both roti and rice.

So, as you eat Steamed Palak and Lauki Koftas for Sunday lunch, say well done, to yourself as you master the techniques of no-oil cooking and prove that lauki is, by no stretch of imagination, a low-key vegetable.

By Sanjeev Kapoor ­ Master Chef, Author, Television Host. Reach him at enquiry@sanjeevkapoor.com

Steamed Lauki and Palak Kofta

Method Add a little salt to 250 grams grated lauki and leave it for five minutes.

Squeeze lauki to completely remove excess water.

Blanch and chop two bunches of palak. Squeeze out excess water.

Combine the two with three boiled mashed potatoes, 2-3 chopped green chillies, 1 tablespoon raisins, 3 tablespoons coarse rice powder, 1/2 teaspoon chaat masala, half teaspoon of ginger paste, half teaspoon of garlic paste, 1 chopped onion and salt to taste in a large bowl.

Divide into 20 equal portions and shape into oval shaped koftas.

Steam them in a steamer for 15 20 minutes. Set aside.

Heat a non-stick pan.

Roast 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste, 1 teaspoon garlic paste and 1 chopped onion on medium heat for five to six minutes.

Add 1 teaspoon red chilli powder, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder, 1 teaspoon roasted crushed kasoori methi and two tablespoons of water and cook for a minute.

Add puree of 5-6 tomatoes, 1 1/2 tablespoons honey and salt. Add one cup of water and simmer for 10 minutes.

Arrange the steamed koftas on a serving plate, pour the gravy over and serve immediately. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

HT ,Mumbai ( 8/11/09) -Bihar's Kisan Chachi.

Woman on the wheel


She tours villages with tips for better farming and empowering women. Meet rural Bihar's `Kisan Chachi' RAJ KUMARI HAS SUCCESSFULLY MOBILISED AROUND 350 WOMEN OF SARAIYA BLOCK TO FORM 35 SELF HELP GROUPS

Ruchir Kumar ruchirkumar@hindustantimes.com

At first, 54-year-old Raj Kumari Devi appears no different from millions of rural Indian women. Indeed, for life would have taken a predictable turn for this sturdy matriarch of Anandpur village in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district -- 80 km northeast of Patna -- had she accepted her situation as the wife of an unemployed farmer.

Instead, she took to the fields as a farmer, despite opposition from her father-in-law. That was in the early 1980s. Today, documentary producers are queuing up to tell the story of Raj Kumari -- popularly known as `Kisan Chachi' -- who has been honoured with the Kisan Shree award.

The feat? In a region famed for growing cannabis and tobacco since the 1970s, she has persuaded farmers to switch to mango, banana, litchi, papaya and vegetables.

Raj Kumari began her journey to empowerment by selling elephant's foot (oal) pickles at Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) stalls at district melas (fairs). She then picked up the spade and shovel, and got down to doing farming, hitherto, a male domain.

"When I was younger, I was an active health services volunteer. When I learnt that chewing tobacco leads to cancer, I vowed to stop farmers from growing it. I started giving them tips on fruit and vegetable farming. Since finance was a major concern, I asked the women to set up Self Help Groups (SHGs), and then apply for loans from banks under the Swarn Jayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana, which they did," she says.

Today, Raj Kumari employs women to prepare pickles for commercial purposes, for wages of Rs 50 per day. She has successfully mobilised around 350 women of Saraiya block to form 35 SHGs, which assures them of a comfortable living.

For these women, Raj Kumari is the interface between the banks and the SHGs -- cycling up to 30 km every day, dispensing tips on agriculture and business. Says, Meera Devi (45), secretary of Khushboo SHG, "Kisan Chachi has changed our lives. Now, we are at least assured of two meals a day."

Closer home, the lone ranger has single-handedly managed to marry off a daughter and packed off the other to pursue a BCA course in Muzaffarpur.
But Kisan Chachi is not done yet.

Having unsuccessfully contested the 2006 Panchayat elections for the post of mukhiya, she will give it another shot the next time. Why politics? "I will have more opportunities to serve people and I know I will succeed, too."

HT ,Mumbai ( 8/11/09) -Women's health

Heart diseases
Heart disease and stroke kill more than 8.5 million women worldwide, which is more than HIV, wide, which is more than HIV, tuberculosis and malaria deaths put together. In India, women account for half of the annual 3 million deaths from the two diseases.

Yet, the risk for women remains under-estimated, both by doctors and women themselves. On an average, women develop heart disease 10 years later in their life than men, but they rapidly catch up after menopause because of ovarian hormone deficiency that favours hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, central obesity and the metabolic syndrome.

Adding to risk is the fact that nine out of 10 women in India over 50 years have low levels of heart-protective good cholesterol (high density lipoprotein or HDL) and almost half have high blood levels of C-reactive protein (levels of this protein increase during systemic inflammation), both factors that heightens risk.

Obesity in women also plays havoc with their lipids (blood fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides, high levels of which cause heart attacks and stroke). According to the National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development, 37.5 per cent women in Punjab, 34 per cent of the women in Delhi and 30 per cent in Kerala are obese, with almost all reporting abdominal obesity (tendency to put on fat around the stomach), both independent risk factors for diabetes and heart disease.

Complicating matters further is the fact that women have atypical heart attack symptoms. Instead of the telltale symptom of angina (burning sensation, tightness or pain in the chest), women may just experience breathlessness, weakness, unusual fatigue, cold sweat, giddiness or neck and shoulder pain. With fatigue or weakness, many do not even realise they are experiencing a heart attack when they get one.

The good news is that the world is waking up to the gender bias in scientific research. Only 50 per cent of the clinical trials conducted in the last three years have enrolled both men and women. They showed an analysis of studies by gender at the Red Alert for Women's Hearts Conference in France on November 5. Professor Stramba Badiale of the Istituto Auxologico Italiano reported that of the 62 randomised clinical trials published in Europe between 2006 and July 2009, only 33.5 per cent of the enrolled participants were women.

Till they get the balance right, women should start getting treated for heart disease even with two of these risk factors: smoking, family history of a parent or sibling having heart disease before 50 years, overweight, hypertension, low good cholesterol, high triglycerides or high blood sugar.

A pear shaped body ?
Genetics are responsible for your pear-shaped body, but lifestyle management can help you look your best by Veenu Singh HOW OFTEN have you looked at your friend and longed for a body like hers? Her hourglass form is so gorgeous, but your disproportionate shape, with its wide lower body and slimmer upper body, reminds you of nothing so much as a pear. Body shapes are usually based on the size of your features and the overall balance of your body. Men and women have different body shapes, and women tend to have bodies that are either apple- or pear-shaped. As it happens, a large number of women have pear-shaped bodies. BODY BASICS A pear-shaped body is larger below the waist than above it. If you are a pear, you will find that your hips are slightly wider than your shoulders and that you tend to gain weight below your waist. Pears usually have small chests and flat stomachs. Apples, on the other hand, are generally bigger on the top half of their bodies than the bottom half. They commonly have slim hips and a large chest and stomach. Apples tend to gain weight above the waist or along the back.

"A pear-shaped body makes you prone to storing weight below your waist," says Dr Dr Sandeep Buddhiraja of Max Healthcare, Delhi. "This makes you more prone to problems like osteoporosis as there is extra pressure on the knees, as well as varicose veins. While those with an apple shape are more prone to heart diseases and even some kinds of cancer, pear shapes have to be very careful about their bone health."

Though your body shape is determined more by genetics than anything else, you can control the possible illeffects of your shape with lifestyle management ­ eating the right kind of foods and doing the right kind of exercise.
FIGURE IT OUT "Pear-shaped people need to be cautious about the kind of food they eat and the lifestyle they lead, as refined and junk food together with a sedentary lifestyle can make them look obese," says Brunch columnist Dr Shikha Sharma.

"Eat only minimally at night," says Sachi Sohal, senior dietician at B L Kapur Hospital. "Avoid refined and processed foods, and try to have three servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables on a daily basis. Most important, control your sweet tooth as too much sugar is bad news if you have a pear-shaped body."

As far as exercise is concerned, if you have a pear-shaped body, you need to not just target the lower area, but also work out in a way that helps maintain good body proportions.
"Yoga and pranayam can be beneficial in this regard," says Dr Sharma. "Kapal bhati, anulomvilom, surya namaskar, bhujhangasan, vajrasan, and veerbhard asan, under the supervision of a qualified yoga therapist are useful asanas."

The idea, says Reebok master trainer Nisha Varma, is to focus on exercises that will balance the top half of your body with the bottom half.
"You will also want to try to thin down your lower half," adds Varma. "To achieve this, focus on aerobic activities that work out your lower body, and resistance exercises that will build your upper body to look filled out. For the lower body, use lighter weights and perform high repetitions of exercises."

Some of the best exercises for this include: cycling (with low resistance); jumping rope; leg lifts and dips; push ups and shoulder presses; swimming; brisk walking and cross training.

"If you can't swim, walk about the shal low end of the swimming pool, in about shoulder deep water," says Varma. "If your work requires you to sit for long hours, sit and stand every hour, or walk up and down the stairs as much as possible. And maintain a good posture. That also helps."

veenus@hindustantimes.com SHAPE UP Start your day with two glasses of lukewarm water. Eat at least three servings of fruit a day. Avoid sweets as much as you can.

Drink 10-12 glasses of water including 3-4 glasses of lukewarm water a day. Avoid breads and refined cereals especially at breakfast and dinner.

Drink herbal teas. Don't skip breakfast; make it the heaviest meal of the day. Try to avoid salt after 7.30 pm.

Avoid packet soups, diet drinks, junk foods and fruit juices. Avoid heavy combinations like rajma and rice, chicken and rice.

By Veenu Singh.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

HT Brunch ( 8/11/09)-Skin care in Winters.

AS WINTER draws near, it's time for us to pay attention to our skin. At this time, skin does not have to fear acne, sweat rashes, prickly heat or sunburn, and it is also possible for us to eat foods like nuts that cannot be consumed in summer. Since different people have different skin types, it is important to work with your skin type to achieve a fabulous complexion.
KAPHA SKIN TYPES: People with a kapha constitution typically have soft, smooth, naturally blemish-free skin and only need to watch out for puffiness and water retention. For this, they can opt for a sauna (with a wet towel for the head). This opens up the sweat glands and helps remove toxins. Kapha people are prone to sinusitis, so steam inhalations, preferably with herbs to clear the nasal passages, are beneficial. This skin type can get body massages with powder or herbs, followed by steam and a moisturiser. Heavy oil is not required because the skin has adequate oils. Kapha people only need to boost their circulation, through exercises like brisk walking, yoga, cross-training, etc.
PITTA SKIN TYPES: Individuals with this skin type will find that their skin looks best in winter. To rev up their blood circulation and bring a glow to their face, they can run or jog in order to sweat. Follow this with a body temperature shower and then a spray of cool room temperature water.
Pitta people benefit from cool face packs that contain natural antibiotics, like neem, cinnamon, turmeric and clove. These can be added to a base like Fullers earth, papaya or sandalwood. Gentle exfoliation and application of moisturisers is good.
They can also drink water with herbs like jasmine, chamomile etc., to flush toxins from the liver.
Amla in any form greatly benefits these people, as does a body massage with olive oil.
VATA SKIN TYPES: People with vata constitutions find winter a problem, as they suffer from dry skin and body pain at this time. They benefit hugely from body massages with heavy oils like sesame. Sessions in the steam room are useful, as they are moisturising and warming. To improve their skin, vata people should use heavy moisturisers and exfoliate their skin gently with mung dal paste followed by a moisturiser. This will clear their skin of blemishes and make it glow.



ASIAN AGE ( 15/11/09)
STIR-FRIED HONEY PANEER INGREDIENTS 2 cups cottage cheese, cubed 2 tbsp corn flour Salt and pepper, to taste Oil, to shallow fry 2 tbsp sesame seed oil 5-7 garlic cloves, grated 3-4 green chillies, sliced ¾ cup baby onions, halved ¾ cup green bell pepper, cubed ¾ cup red bell pepper, cubed Salt, red chilli flakes and crushed peppercorns, to taste Lemon wedges, for garnish INGREDIENTS FOR SAUCE 2 tbsp vinegar 1 tbsp tomato ketchup 1 tbsp Soya sauce 1 tbsp honey 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce METHOD Keep the cottage cheese cubes in a strainer to drain out water completely.

Sprinkle cornflour, salt and pepper over it, dust well and shake off extra flour.

Deep-fry the cubes in preheated oil till golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper and keep aside.

Heat oil in a wok, stir-fry the garlic and green chillies for a minute, then add the onions. Sauté for two-three minutes and add all the bell peppers.

Season it with salt, red chilli flakes and crushed peppercorns and stir-fry on high heat for two-three minutes.

Reduce to simmer, then add all the sauces and sugar, and stir in the golden brown cottage cheese cubes.

Toss gently and mix well until dry and well coated. Remove from heat, arrange on a snackserving platter and garnish with lemon wedges.

Serve hot with rice.

HT Cafe ( 8/11/09)-Methi Chaman Biryani by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor

Ingredients Mix together 1 2 cups yogurt, salt to taste, 1 teaspoon turmeric 1/ powder and one tablespoon each of ginger and garlic pastes in a bowl. Add 300 grams paneer, cut into cubes, and 1 cup of sweetcorn kernels. Mix well and marinate for about half an hour in a cool place.

Cook 1 2 cups Basmati rice in four cups of boiling salted water, 1/ along with 2 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 3-4 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon and 5-6 peppercorns till almost cooked. Drain and keep the rice warm.

Soak a generous pinch of saffron in a cup of warm milk.

Heat two tablespoons of ghee in a thick-bottomed pan. Add 2 large sliced onions and 2 chopped green chillies and sauté, stirring continuously, till the onions turn a light golden brown.

Add 1 tablespoon each of ginger and garlic pastes and mix well.
Add 1/2 small bunch chopped methi and cook over high heat for ten minutes, stirring continuously. Add marinated paneer and corn.

Add 2 tablespoons coriander powder, 1 tablespoon cumin powder and 1 teaspoon red chilli powder and mix thoroughly.

Add salt, 1 teaspoon of the garam masala powder and 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves. Cook for five minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Arrange half the quantity of cooked methi, corn and paneer in a handi and spread half the quantity of cooked rice on top. Sprinkle a little garam masala powder, a few ginger strips, half the saffronflavoured milk and a few hand torn fresh mint leaves.

Layer the remaining methi, paneer and corn mixture on top of the rice, followed by the cooked rice. Sprinkle some more ginger strips, saffron milk, 1 teaspoon of garam masala powder and some more hand torn mint leaves over the top.

Melt one tablespoon of ghee and drizzle it over the dish.

Cover the handi with a lid and seal the edges with the atta dough. Place the handi on a heated tawa and cook over a low heat for fifteen minutes.

Serve, garnished with a cup of fried onion slices and raita.

Mumbai Mirror ( 8/11/09) Recipes

MASALA IDLI by Chef Kedar Bobde
2 ½ cup whole urad (polished), ¼ cup idli rice, ¼ cup parimal rice, 1 tsp fenugreek seeds, ¼ cup cooked boiled rice, pinch of salt.
½ fresh coconut, 2 tbsp roasted Bengal gram, 1 green chilly, ½ cm ginger, a pinch of salt.
1 tbsp cooking oil, 2 bori chillies, ½ tsp mustard seeds, few curry leaves, a pinch of heeng, pinch of red chilli powder, pinch of turmeric powder.

• Soak lentils and the two kinds of rice separately, with some fenugreek seeds for five hours.

• Grind them together along with cooked rice to a thick batter.

• Put the batter in a greased idli mould and steam them for seven minutes in an idli steamer. Demould and allow to cool.

• Grind together all the ingredients of coconut chutney. Keep aside.

• Heat oil. Crackle in mustard, chillies, curry leaves and heeng. Add chilly powder and turmeric powder.

• Add two tbsp of coconut chutney. Add the cold idlis and toss it till the masala coats all over them.

• Serve hot with coconut chutney on the side.
Regular masala idlis come in the fried version. However, the tadka given here eliminates that deep frying element, making it far healthier. A tip: during the fermentation process, add a bit of curd. The probiotics will go a long way in ensuring good gut health.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

HT Cafe ( 5/11/09)-A spoonful of ginger.

A golden anti-inflammatory In a study of people with osteoarthritis of the knee, those who took ginger extract felt less pain and needed fewer painkillers than those who got a placebo To relieve arthritis pain, take fresh ginger juice, extract or tea; you can also rub ginger oil into a painful joint In general, do not take more than 4 grams of ginger daily, including that contained in foods, such as ginger ale Do not take ginger if you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood thinners, including aspirin; ask your doctor first if you have gallstones and are having surgery SOURCE: UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND MEDICAL CENTER, MCT PHOTO SERVICE GRAPHIC: PAT CARR

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mumbai Mirror ( 4/11/09) Pain killer

Your body can end nagging aches and pains without medicines. Find out how

You always knew your body was capable of a lot, but did you know that your body can heal itself from heartburn and even cure tummy trouble? As much as doctors would have you believe that you need medicines to cure even these minor ailments, the truth is that sometimes it is your body that can fight its own battles. Read on and tap into the amazing feats that you can perform.
Hiccups just before a big presentation? Don't fret. Plug your ears with your fingers and silence them. You get hiccups when the vagus nerve, which stretches from the head right down to the abdominal organs, is irritated. Branches of the nerve also reach the auditory system. Therefore, by stimulating the nerve endings there by means of touch, you could stop the hiccups.
Heartburn is most likely to occur at night because when you lie horizontal for several hours at a stretch, your stomach acids collect around the oesophagus. But there's a way around this — just use a thicker pillow. When your head is elevated, acids are less able to pool.
Spicy food, eating after a gap of several hours and of course street food, make stomach aches all too common. If you suffer from tummy aches immediately after a meal, chances are the food you've eaten has caused an imbalance in your stomach acids. Sip on some soda to get almost instant pain relief. Carbonated water and drinks help strike that natural balance again.
Who hasn't been in a situation where you are on the verge of tears, but don't want to break down in public. All you need to do is gently tickle the roof of your mouth with your tongue. With this simple action, you end up confusing the signals in the pharynx that play an important role in crying. The result — you save yourself some embarrassment!
Nobody likes needles, but what if we told you could reduce the pain from a jab by simply coughing. Don't believe us? We've got science to back us up. Coughing vigorously increases your blood pressure for that short span of time. And studies have shown that hypertension reduces your ability to feel pain. So next time you walk into the doctor's office to get your flu shot, cough out loud.
Shaving nicks and cuts are pretty common and often tend to bleed for quite a while. Next time you cut yourself, head the freezer and using some pressure, rub an ice-cube over the affected area. The ice causes the capillaries under the skin to constrict and this in turn reduces blood flow to the region.
(Dr Ramesh Modi, consultant physician at Wockhardt hospital, Mulund and LH Hiranandani hospital, Powai) — CO-ORDINATED BY KIRAN MEHTA

Monday, November 2, 2009

HT Cafe ( 3/11/09)

Need to lose weight? Well, a new diet book has been launched called the Don't Diet Diet Cookbook.

Written by Suman Agarwal and Tinu Shanghvi, the premise of the cook book is that all diets today involve starvation, eating disgusting food, avoiding fats, milk or carbohydrates completely; or are based on myths that certain food groups such as carbohydrates and proteins should not be mixed.

Instead this book advocates eating three tasty low-fat meals a day, containing carbohydrates, fats and proteins in each meal.

It states that avoiding fats is dangerous as it can lead to flaky skin, acne, muscle and joint problems and hormonal imbalances.

According to the authors, the average woman should never eat less than 1,200 calories a day and the average man 1,800; and people should eat every three hours.

However it is not all good news as the book advocates the com plete avoidance of cakes, pastries, cold drinks, ice cream, paneer, and fried foods such as samosas and pani puri.

But the glossy hardback book contains a range of western and Indian recipes such as Parsi Dhansak, Chana Dal Palak, and spinach and nutmeg soup , each with the number of calories and fats next to them and clear instructions.

Agarwal has a certificate in food and nutrition from Oxford University.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

TOI ( 1/11/09) MISS MILLET’S FOOD FEST-Green solution.

Millet is almost a forgotten grain in Punjab. But it’s making a comeback in kitchens, thanks to spunky Gagandeep Kaur who has recruited a small army of village women for an innovative campaign to grow and eat a crop that could be a climate change solution(Nandita Sengupta | TNN)

Chandigarh: Robust women wielding long spoons expertly roast some 20 rotis on a black iron tawa atop a blazing chulha. Others forcefully knead yellow dough and slap rotis into perfect rounds. This strenuous work doesn’t stop their robust banter. Meanwhile, hundred-loads of rotis are churned out in just a few hours.
This is no ordinary team. Neither are the rotis. The 15 women in the makeshift kitchen are farmers who came together for a food fest one lazy Sunday last month, indulging city-dwellers in the long-forgotten tastes of bajra, jowar, ragi, kangni and other millet in rotis and khichdi. The fest is called Bebe di Rasoi, and it’s named after a millet-based recipe book.
It’s part of a larger culinary battle by a small group of women — to bring millet back to the dinner table. The Bebe di Rasoi seems the ideal way to do so. Millet, small, hard and collectively called coarse grains, was once a staple of the Indian diet, but gradually fell off the food map when the focus shifted to growing, distributing and consuming rice and wheat. This, despite millet being naturally pest-free and very nutritious.
Andhra Pradesh-based P V Satheesh, head of India’s millet network of farmers and state-level societies, explains, “With monoculture farming and the government in the 1960s buying only rice and wheat for the Public Distribution System, millet faded from mainstream agriculture.”
But all is not lost. Impetus has been added to the return-to-millet campaign in the form of a young turbaned Sikh woman named Gagandeep Kaur. Beyond the tented kitchen, this vivacious woman flits between supervising cooking and hobnobbing with the massed throng, a kirpan glinting casually at her belt. A pair of stylish frames gives her a certain gravitas. It’s no surprise when the 27-year-old tells you she was once a university lecturer.
Kaur has travelled the long road from teaching computer engineering to advocating millets at a considerable clip. Ever since the Ludhiana girl heard Krishi Virasat Mission’s chief Umendra Dutt espouse the cause of millet, she’s been sold on the idea. “We know about pesticide residue in food, the growing incidence of cancer. Medicine can’t be the answer to health problems, what you eat is,” she says.
She’s derisive about New Age pill therapy. “Nowadays, beta-carotene is the in-thing but as supplements, in capsules. Why go for pills when bajra, ragi and jowar have so much nutritional value? Almost 90% women in Punjab are anaemic. They need a millet diet,” declares Kaur.
Unsurprisingly, she is focused on reacquainting people with the food habits of yore. “Millet is what Nanak Baba used to eat. Adding millet to crop mix brings in diversity and keeps the soil healthy,” she says.
But Kaur found that it wasn’t enough to tell farmers about the soil benefits of growing millet or the health advantages of eating it. “When the government doesn’t procure, why would farmers grow it if they don’t get a price for it?” she asks. Realizing that policy change was easier said than done, she decided to re-introduce a taste for millet by roping in ordinary village women. Her first step was to encourage women to start small kitchen gardens.
Within months, she introduced the women to the idea of cooking and serving millet. Most of the women were clueless, she found, and the older ones were able only vaguely to recall recipes. “Our first food fest had only 30 women,” recalls Kaur. “Some got jowar laddus, others khichri. They exchanged recipes and tips. But the big moment was when the kids gave the thumbs-up.” Soon enough, Kaur was writing Bebe di Rasoi, by the simple but arduous process of traveling through 10 villages for two months to collect recipes. Nine months on, Kaur spearheads a thriving movement to reclaim millet as a food staple.
It’s a movement whose time has come, says Satheesh, whose NGO Deccan Development Society have monthlong interactions with farmers on organic farming. “Punjab’s monoculture farming demanded lots of chemicals and plenty of water. As a result, the soil turns sterile. Climate change is now an added challenge,” he says.
Wheat is a thermal-sensitive crop and global warming will ensure it ‘disappears’, warns Satheesh. Further, rice fields with their stagnant water produce methane, a greenhouse gas. “Punjab has to rethink what it wants to do. One of the answers lies in millet. Plus, it was a part of the state’s past,” he says, noting ‘tremendous interest’ in Kaur’s work among the urban middle-class.
They say the way to a man’s heart is through the stomach. The piping hot bajre di khichdi, the fast-depleting piles of bajre and kodrey di roti, the exotic aroma of chibbran di chutney and generous helpings of makki da dalia may be testimony to this – as also the success of Kaur’s strategy.
In India, eight millet species are commonly cultivated.Also called miracle crops, they promise ‘nutrition security’
Drought threatens roughly one-third of the total cultivated area in India. Growing a mix of millet may be the way forward.
Women are spearheading the 'bring-milletback' campaign targeted at farmers and the common man
Adding a quantity of 'little millet' to idli mix makes idlis softer. Take note that chefs don’t share these 'little' secrets easily


We all love to hang out with our friends and enjoy our favourite food at favourite places. Some like to binge on popular McD' burgers, while few prefer Pizza Hut's delicacies. But well, let's accept it; you can't afford to enjoy such stuff on a daily basis, especially if you are a college fuchcha, and struggling to live on your own as a paying guest. But as they say, where there is a will, there is a way. I am a first year BA student in Delhi University who's new to Delhi and I have no qualms in admitting that I have a crazy fetish for garlic bread.
And so, with some innovative thoughts and a bit of help from my roommate, I have formulated a new recipe of my own, which tastes as good as the original garlic bread from any popular food joint. So far, I have given a taste "my kinda garlic bread" to some of my friends, and everyone just seems to love it. So whether you are one of those garlic bread lovers, or game for experimenting with anything new, here's the recipe of my `brand new' garlic bread.
INGREDIENTS 4 bread slices 100 gm butter Chopped garlic 2 tbsp oil Black pepper Salt, as per taste Mustard sauce
METHOD Chop full garlic and mix it with 100 grams of butter. Add some tomato ketchup to it and make a paste. Now add a dash of black pepper and salt (as per your taste). Now blend it all till it becomes a fine paste. Now comes the fun part as the next step might sound weird and messy, but you can easily get the trick if you practice it a few times.
So, now apply the paste evenly on the bread slices. You can even cut the bread into funny shapes if you want to add the zing factor. Heat some oil (preferably half a teaspoon) in a non-stick pan, and fry the slices you have prepared.
Now all you need to do is to serve it along with some mustard sauce, and here you are, ready to enjoy the taste of garlic bread, right at your home. And, if you notice this whole thing would not take more than fifteen minutes to prepare.
As told to Garima Shah

When you are working as a professional from a very early age, and spend two-third of your time in office, chances are that no matter how successful you are at your workplace, when it comes to the department of cooking, you are really miserable.
And this is what happened with me, a computer professional who's working right from the age of 19. Cooking was a nightmare, especially when I came back from office late in the evening. I used to feel pretty irritated at times to be so dependent when it came to food. So I decided to come up with something easy -- a meal which even a person like me could prepare, and that too without putting much effort.

I learnt this special recipe from my aunt, and the best part about these filling paranthas is that it uses only the leftover stuff from lunch and other meals, thus making it easier for you to prepare, and utilising the ingredients as well.

So if you too are not so good when it comes to cooking, have a look at my recipe and enjoy the sense of achievement of making a meal on your own.
INGREDIENTS Since this is a recipe prepared by making use of leftover stuff from lunch or breakfast, one can be innovative and add various things depending on their preference and options. But the overall basic ingredients are listed here.

1 cup cooked rice 1 bowl cooked dal (preferably mix) 1 chopped onion and tomato 3 green chillies (finely cut) Pickle masala, as per taste 2 cup wheat flour 2 tbsp oil METHOD Mix flour and cooked dal in one bowl properly. Now heat some oil in a nonstick pan, and then add chopped onion till it turns golden brown in colour.

Now add chopped tomato and chillies to pan, and when the whole mixture becomes a rich brown colour paste, add the rice and pickle masala to it and mix thoroughly. Keep it on simmer for around two minutes. Now keep the mixture aside to cool.

Meanwhile, start making small balls of the dough prepared initially, and put the tava on gas. Stuff the balls with the rice mixture prepared and make paranthas of it the usual way.

At the end, serve those yummy and filling paranthas with some chutney and pickle. (As told to Garima Shah)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Times Life ( 25/10/09) -Celeb Cook in -Archana Puran Singh

Spaghetti in cream sauce( veg)

INGREDIENTS I Spaghetti (boiled): 160 gm I Fresh cream: 180 ml I Spinach leaf: 80 gm I Olive oil: 1 tbsp I Chopped garlic: 1/2 tsp I Chopped onion: 1/2 tsp I Salt: 1/2 tsp I Fresh basil: 2 gm I Grated parmesan cheese: 25 gm I Butter: 1 tsp.

METHOD I Heat saucepan and add olive oil and chopped garlic and onion. I Saute’ garlic-onion lightly and add fresh cream till thick. I Then add boiled spaghetti, toss it in cream. I Add trim and washed shredded spinach leaves. I Finish with grated parmesan cheese, fresh basil and butter. I Add salt as per taste and serve immediately. I Garnish with parmesan cheese and sprig of fresh parsley.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

TOI ,Crest ( 24/10/09) -A unique green experiment.

In Colombia, a green experiment with civilization by SIMON ROMERO

In the 1960s, an aristocratic Colombian development specialist named Paolo Lugari took a road trip across the nearly uninhabited eastern plains of Las Gaviotas, a region so remote and poor in soil quality that not even Colombia’s historic upheavals of violence had taken root here at the time.
Stopping to rest in this vast expanse, written off by agronomists as the equivalent of a tropical desert, Lugari decided it was the perfect place to experiment with the future of civilization. He founded a village unlike any other in this war-weary country.
“The only deserts that exist in this world are deserts of the imagination,” said Lugari, 64, on a visit this month to the community he named after the river gulls, or gaviotas, he saw flying overhead on that trip more than 40 years ago.
These days, visitors travel by propeller plane over the bleak savanna to get here, or by bus past the occasional guerrilla or paramilitary checkpoint. The visitors rarely come. But when they do, they get a glimpse into a fourdecade experiment to alter civilization’s dependence on finite fossil fuels and industrial agriculture. Its 200 residents have no guns, no police force, no cars, no mayor, no church, no priest, no cellphones, no television, no Internet. No one who lives in Gaviotas has a job title. But Gaviotas does have an array of innovations intended to make human life feasible in one of the most challenging ecosystems, from small inventions like a solar kettle for sterilizing water to large ones like a 19,800-acre reforestation project whose tropical pines produce resin for biofuel and a canopy under which native plant species flourish.
Las Gaviotas, Lugari explained, began with one idea: Instead of choosing an easy, fertile place to test energy selfsufficiency and creativity in agriculture, why not choose one of the hardest? The concept, devised before the 1970s oil crisis and well before this decade’s fears of depleting oil supplies, guided the community’s evolution.
Like an oasis amid this madness, Gaviotas drew peasants from the llanos, or plains, who moved here to earn about $500 a month, about double the wage for rural workers elsewhere in Colombia. Some once nomadic Guahibo Indians joined them. Scientists, while largely avoiding Las Gaviotas now because of the surrounding violence, helped design the village’s cluster of homes, laboratories and factories, which still lie 16 hours by jeep from Bogotá, the capital.
“We try to lead a quiet life, depending on nothing but our own labour and ingenuity,” said Teresa Valencia, 48, a teacher who moved here three decades ago.
She said residents had to deal with guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the FARC, and gunmen loyal to a paramilitary warlord, Pedro Oliverio Guerrero, who reigns over the llanos with the nom de guerre Cuchillo (Knife).
Visitors who arrive at dawn on a Cessna plane leave before dusk for fear of kidnappings. They see inventions like a water pump powered by a children’s seesaw, a solar kitchen and the forest of tropical pine trees that stands in contrast to the otherwise barren plains.
More than two decades after the pines were planted, with the help of a mycorrhiza fungus introduced to help digest the poor soils, jacaranda, ferns and laurels have flourished under their cover in what some agronomists call one of the developing world’s most astonishing reforestation projects.
“A place like Gaviotas bears witness to our ability to get it right, even under seemingly insurmountable circumstances,” the American journalist Alan Weisman wrote in a 1998 book about Gaviotas.
One Gaviotera, as those born in this village are known, explained her theory. “We have survived,” said the resident, Andrea Beltrán, 25. “Maybe, at this time and place in Colombia,” she continued, “that is enough.” NYT NEWS SERVICE Aunique gree

Malnourishment & MMR lessons

TOI ,Crest ( 24/10/09)Welfare Inc
Multinational corporations are lining up products fortified with micronutrients to help fight malnourishment in rural India, but health experts warn against business interests swamping welfare work

Conventional wisdom would suggest that malnourished, poverty-stricken people living on less than $2 a day can hardly be of interest to the market. But conventional wisdom could be wrong. Giant multinational food companies are developing products meant to specifically tackle the fallout of prolonged hunger, such as micronutrient deficiency and anaemia. Think of any big name in food and you can bet it’s there in the throng reaching out to the starving billions.
But why would Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), Britannia and Danone be keen to sell beverage and food products containing micronutrients like vitamin A, zinc and iron at rockbottom prices?
The answer lies in the numbers. Over a billion hungry people globally, and more than two billion anaemic. India alone boasts the world’s largest undernourished population — over 200 million. To the food industry, these figures would mean the mantra of ‘low margin, high volume sales’ of fortified products is viable. As a bonus, the company would also be building brand value by undertaking the responsibility of helping those in distress.
Tying up with NGOs provides the entry point to create impact on the minds of rural India. For instance, Coca-Cola is marketing Vitingo, a micronutrient fortified orange-flavoured beverage, in partnership with Laxmi Priya Enterprises, a sister concern of Bharat Integrated Social Welfare Agency (BISWA), a leading NGO micro-finance institution in Orissa, with a beneficiary base of over 5,00,000. The pilot project entails Vitingo sachets being distributed using self-help groups. Coca-Cola says the effort is aimed at building a sustainable, not-forprofit business “wherein we would market beverages enriched with micronutrients targeted at the bottom of the socio economic pyramid”.
Coke seems upbeat about its prospects after the success of a pilot in Sambalpur district of Orissa. Considering micronutrient deficiencies can impair cognitive development, lower resistance to disease in children and adults, and increase risks for both mothers and infants during childbirth, Coke would expect the new initiative to generate both goodwill and sales.
For most corporates, such rural initiatives are also a learning process, which helps them understand new markets that are extremely price sensitive or culture specific. Pepsi, too, is looking at the NGO route to push a drink to be launched next year, which it claims can reduce the incidence of anaemia among women in rural India. It is hoping to distribute the drink through local health centres.
The poor themselves might not be able to afford even these products despite the low pricing, but the companies have an eye on humanitarian agencies and government-run health programmes to market them. Bagging a government contract could mean immediate sales running into millions.
In recent years, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), a private sector coalition, has been using its ties with UNICEF to persuade governments to allow more food fortification. The GAIN Business Alliance, chaired by Unilever, also helps conduct surveys to help member companies assess feeding practices and gauge the market for complementary and supplementary food. “Unilever has been working in partnership with GAIN since 2005, and has been very actively involved in food fortification programmes of GAIN in various countries, including India. As well as its strongly-principled stance, Unilever has a vested interest in the health, education and success of consumers in all our markets,” says a Unilever spokesperson.
But public health experts insist that such concerted efforts to combat malnutrition are only driven by business interests and lobbies rather than any serious attempt at addressing poverty, hunger and poor health. A paper published this month in the journal Lancet, titled ‘Nutrition in Early Life-Global Priority’, warns that the limited funding for combating undernutrition is being dominated by programmes for food aid and micronutrient supplementation. “Although such programmes have a definite role in some circumstances, one would also like to see strong investments in community-based approaches — like the promotion of breastfeeding and appropriate complementary foods — which have well-established effects on child survival and nutritional status,” says the paper.
Dr B Sasikeran, director of the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, says, “Obviously, they are not interested in the public good. They are commercial entities after all.” Whenever the institute has done clinical trials to determine the efficacy of micronutrient supplementation, the children’s group in the trial that was not given the supplement showed almost as much improvement as the group getting the supplement. Dr Sesikeran explains why this happens: “During a trial, you monitor both groups closely, ensuring they get the same kind of balanced diet, that the children undergo regular deworming and so on. With balanced food and good healthcare, even those without the supplements are bound to do well.” Dr Sesikeran adds that this only proved that public health/nutrition schemes could show substantial results even without supplements if only they were monitored and implemented properly.
Essentially, the case made by experts is for the need to build efficient public or community-based distribution mechanisms that can deliver commodities like oil, fresh vegetables and milk to supplement staple foods. “When we talk of food, we talk of rice and wheat, which only takes care of hunger. Once we take care of hunger, we have to talk of more oil and green vegetables in the diet to take care of micronutrient deficiency,” says Umesh Kapil, professor of Public Nutrition at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
Nutritionists also point out that if there is no food in the stomach to provide the base, nutrients are of little use and hence supplements alone would not work for the hungry. But international agencies looking for ways to tackle undernourishment in large sections of the population are often accused of encouraging quick-fix solutions through promotion of fortified foods. Dr Neeraj Sethi, senior advisor (health), Planning Commission, pointed out at a conference on micronutrient deficiencies that emphasis is shifting to fortification and supplementation, ignoring the importance of sustainable child feeding practices like exclusive breastfeeding till six months, safe drinking water and sanitation, and deworming of children at regular intervals.
The arguments are yet to be resolved, but clearly the issue is one that will loom over the fate of future generations. After all, the largest section of the world’s undernourished population is in India and most of them are young children.
(With additional inputs
from Rupali Mukherjee and
Namrata Singh)


Corporate majors are selling a range of fortified products at competitive prices or distributing them free of cost
COCA-COLA launched Vitingo, a micronutrient fortified orange-flavoured beverage in Orissa this year, jointly with an NGO micro-finance institution
PEPSI is expected to launch an ultra-cheap soft drink that could cost just Rs 1 or 2 per serve at the beginning of next year. The drink, it is said, will reduce incidence of anaemia among women in rural India
HINDUSTAN UNILEVER has launched Brooke Bond Sehatmand in Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, a tea brand expected to fulfill vitamin needs in the lower strata of society. It claims three cups of the tea guarantee delivery of 50 per cent of the recommended dietary allowance of added B Vitamins required by a person
DANONE launched Shaktidoi, sweet curd fortified with iron and vitamins, in 2006 in partnership with Grameen in Bangladesh, selling it at five to seven taka per pot
BRITANNIA started working with an NGO to distribute fortified biscuits — Tiger with Iron-Zor — free of cost to children living in slums in Haryana. Its projects are primarily aimed at tackling iron deficiency in towns and rural areas. The iron-fortified biscuits are also sold elsewhere in the country
ECONOCOM FOODS sells Epap, a pre-cooked maize-based food, highly fortified with 28 nutrients, developed to address Africa’s food and nutrition problem

OUTLOOK ( 2/11/09)Women: Maternal Mortality-Expecting Hope
Bangladesh offers India a healthcare lesson by Amba Batra Bakshi

* The maternal mortality rate (MMR) in India is 254 per 1 lakh live births (2004-2006), down from 301 in 2001-2003
* India has set itself an MMR target of 109 by 2015, which Unicef says the country will not be able to achieve
* India wants to see how Bangladesh brought down MMR
* Indian health officials will travel to Bangladesh to study that country’s intervention models
Despite efforts by the government to arrest the alarming maternal mortality rate (MMR) in India, progress has been very slow in the past few years. Outlook has now learnt the government is considering taking a leaf out of Bangladesh’s efforts at containing maternal mortality. India’s MMR is currently 254 per one lakh live births; the target is to take that figure to 109 by 2015. Unicef’s ‘The State of the World’s Children’ report released this year estimated that “78,000 women die from pregnancy and childbirth” every year in India and that the country was unlikely to achieve the 2015 target.

Amit Mohan Prasad, joint secretary in the Union ministry of health & family welfare, says, “The latest figures have shown that our MMR, which was 301 in 2001-03, has come down to 254 in the 2004-06 period. This is largely due to the success of Janani Suraksha Yojna (JSY), which is being seen as a success internationally.” The JSY, which falls under the umbrella of the National Rural Health Mission (NHRM), covers all pregnant women belonging to households below the poverty line and above 19 years of age for up to two live births. JSY integrates ante-natal care, institutional delivery with cash incentives and post-delivery care. “We are open to learning and exchanging ideas,” says Prasad. “Many countries want to adapt some of our intervention methods and we don’t mind studying theirs.”

In Bangladesh, the Australian Aid Programme in 2008-09 achieved positive results in decreasing maternal mortality rates in a pilot project. A 13 per cent decrease in MMR was achieved, from 254 per one lakh live births in 2007 to 221 in 2008 (compared to the national rate of 320). This is seen as a giant leap in checking MMR in Bangladesh. Indian health ministry officials will be travelling to Dhaka to study Bangladesh’s initiative in detail to implement them back at home. “Bangladesh has had very intensified efforts in the areas that record high MMR. Results only come from the betterment of the overall medical system. And since their health system is weaker than ours, we want to study the few things that caused this positive outcome and hopefully implement it,” says a health official.

In India, efforts have focused on increasing the number of institutional deliveries in rural areas, spreading awareness on contraception and family planning and mobilising more skilled health workers. But it’s the cash incentives to delivering a baby in a hospital that have brought more women to hospitals. Prasad insists that since the project only started in 2005, the full results will only show in the next assessment. However, he did not want to comment on the chances of India failing to achieve its 2015 target.

For India, another struggle is against the huge gaps in the healthcare system from state to state. Two-thirds of all the maternal deaths in the country occur in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkand, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Assam. In these states, the administration of schemes has largely failed. Nepal, on the other hand, has made a giant leap, bringing down MMR from 540 to 280. This is being seen as a result of the legalisation of abortion in 2002. Also, Sri Lanka has the lowest MMR in South Asia at just 27 in 2002. A well-connected maternal healthcare system and a large number of institutional deliveries have led to these results. India could take a few tips from these countries too.

TOI ,Crest ( 24/10/09) -THE FAIR SEX - UP & DOWN.

The new guard
The rifles may have felt a little heavy the first time they slung it over their shoulders, but the BSF’s first female contingent of border guards is learning to live with the weight of the Insas and high expectations. The LoC may not have turned safer overnight, but the women in uniform sure are making a difference

Every afternoon, Sukhwinder Kaur and her mother sat down to watch the afternoon soap in their sparsely furnished Hoshiarpur home but now that seems like a memory from another lifetime. Though Kaur and the other girls in her Khasa camp have been given a TV set, they are no longer interested in all the twists and turns of the family melodrama. The 22-year-old has plenty more to keep track of these days. Part of the BSF’s first female contingent of border guards, one of her main responsibilities is guarding the treacherous Indo-Pak border at Punjab’s Attari, and ensuring there is no smuggling of contraband.
“It feels different to have such a huge responsibility,” Sukhwinder says, brushing a speck off her crisp uniform. “Life has changed for all of us. So have the priorities and notions of fear and safety. The country is all we have time to care for.” The women took charge in September after receiving training in weapon handling, intelligence gathering, border management, unarmed combat, frisking and guard duties.
They rise at 5.30 am and after a quick breakfast, usually rotis and subzi at the Other Ranks mess, rush to collect their weapons from the armoury. They then report for duty, and are ferried to their respective posts. After an entire day of checking and frisking, they reach the Attari border checkpost in the evening to report for crowd control duty during the Beating of the Retreat ceremony. Back on campus by 7.30 pm, most are ready to hit the sack after spending a little quality time with their fellows.
“Who has the energy or interest to watch TV serials after all this?’’ asks Amandeep Kaur, another recruit from among the 640 women who graduated this year from the BSF’s subsidiary training camp at Kharkan, Punjab, after a 36-week preparatory period.
Though they took positions at the forward post to a tumultuous welcome from society and the government — followed, of course, by a media frenzy — most are still adjusting to a rough job at the 500 km-long border. A majority of them are barely out of their teens, excited as ever to wear a new nose ring or get their hands painted with henna.
The first shock came days after they began work. Four rockets fired from Pakistan landed in nearby villages, forming deep craters. Many had never seen such a thing before. There was more. Soon after the missile incident, a clutch of vernacular papers carried stories, apparently quoting a Pakistani news site, that insinuated the women had been drafted for the pleasure of the male soldiers. The motive was all too clear, but the bullet missed its target. “Those were attempts to demoralise us,” Sukhdeep Kaur says. “But they failed miserably. If they so much as try to eye our border, our guns are ready.”
As she frisks women farmers queuing up at gate number 112 in Daoke village, Amritsar, Sukhdeep orders one woman to let her hair down, and asks another to take off her shoes. “We have to do this,” she explains. “It is easy to hide a small phone or a SIM card and get it across the border,” she adds. The BSF has deployed women guards to improve security checks on the border, as women are being used increasingly to smuggle narcotics.
As an afterthought, Sukhdeep says, “The nearest Pakistani village, Kot Jaimal Singh, is barely a kilometre away from where we stand. You can even see farmers across the border tending to their almost-ripe crop. There is nothing to suggest these are two different countries. Even the height of the paddy on both sides is the same.”
But it’s not just the women who have to make adjustments. Their male counterparts too are busy getting used to women in their midst. “The men went through a reorientation programme and were briefed before the women were inducted. They are quite mindful of the women’s privacy while treating them as colleagues. Fortunately, nothing amiss has been reported till now,” said IG (BSF) Himmat Singh.
If there is anxiety in some quarters, there is reassurance from others. “The women are disciplined and eager to work for their country. How can we not acknowledge and respect that?” says assistant commandant Aman Tirkey. “They are like our daughters and sisters. And most of us, whether male or female, have come from a similar background.”
Apart from the crush and grind of daily work that unites them, there is something else that all the women agree on — being the first lot of women to guard India’s borders is a matter of huge pride. “I have two younger brothers, both still in school, and my father is a farmer who tills three acres of land in Mansa,” says Satveer Kaur. “I still remember what my father said the first time he saw me in my uniform. He said I was the eldest son. That meant everything to me. I don’t mind the arduous patrolling anymore. I come from a place where girls have traditionally been considered inferior, even killed in the womb for a male child.”
Chirpy and bright, 20-year-old Rajwant Kaur from Gurdaspur insists she’s got an even better compliment. A smile spreading across her pretty face, she says, “I met a child sometime ago at Raja Ka Pul village, a stone’s throw from the last Indian railway station at Attari. She said she wanted to be like me, wear a uniform and carry a gun, when she grows up.”

End of the line for Gujarat’s women coolies
For 130 years, women porters at Bhavnagar railway station battled both load and prejudice. Now, the ladies are about to be red-flagged

Saari duniya ka bojh hum uthate hai, log aate hain, chale jate hain. Hum yahin par khade reh jate hain.” (We carry the weight of the entire world, people come and go but we remain here)
— Amitabh Bachchan in Coolie
Thirty-six-year old Jayshree Vala, one of the 15 women coolies at the Bhavnagar railway station in Gujarat, is a huge Bachchan fan and likes to repeat this dialogue from the 1983 film. But unlike the actor who could firmly say coolies will always be at the station, Jayshree, perhaps the last of this city’s women porters, is losing confidence. Interestingly, Bhavnagar is the only city in the country where all the porters are women.
Butrailway authorities are now showing the red flag. Officials say that railway rules allow badges to be transferred only to male heirs. They also claim that those who have applied for renewal of licences have been told so in writing. In the eyes of the railways, therefore, the women porters are operating illegally.
There’s another reason why the railways want to recruit male coolies.
Bhavnagar station is expanding to accommodate increased passenger traffic and the general consensus is that women cannot transport goods from the original platform to the two new ones which are now being used for passenger trains. Divisional manager Deepak Chabra says, “It is physically not possible for women to carry heavy luggage from one platform to another.”
The 130-year-old tradition of women porters began in 1880 when the original group of firebrand women coolies stormed this male bastion and got their badges from the Maharaja of Bhavnagar, Krishna Pratapsinhji. The king had, in a revolutionary move, decided to employ three women porters at the station.
In time, it became a tradition for women porters to hand down their badges or armbands to their daughters or daughters-in-law. Today, the badges are considered a legacy passed on through generations — something to be flaunted on their arms with pride. Jayshree, who was given her badge by her mother-in-law Tara Amrutlal, said, “When she was on her death bed, she handed over this badge and her red sari to me. She made me promise that I would keep the tradition alive.”
Vasant Jamnadas, 50, who got her badge from her mother Gangaba, agrees that theirs is a labour of love. “We make just about Rs 30 per day and can earn much more if we work as domestic help. But we have carried on this tradition because we value this work and cannot imagine life away from the railway station,” she said. Vasant does not have children and has decided to give her badge to her brother’s daughter-in-law.
For Hira Jaikrishna, the oldest porter at the station at 70, the imminent death of Bhavnagar’s glorious tradition is also a great loss to the city’s culture. “When I first started working, the station was surrounded by woods and only horse-driven tongas operated here. The forest has now given way to a busy marketplace and the tongas to taxis. Everything has changed, but the women coolies have stayed on. However, I am not sure if we will be here much longer,” she said sadly.
There is still hope in the hearts of a few of the women, like Jayshree, who say they are trying hard to get the badges transferred to their names. But they may be fighting a losing battle.

TOI ,Crest, ( 24/10/09) Interesting tit bits.

‘Shara’a Simsim’ teaches Palestinian kids they can achieve their dream of a Palestinian state through tolerance, education and national pride — and not anti-Israeli violence through puppetry among other things.

Farmers in Las Gaviotas, a Colombian village founded in the arid eastern plains 40 years ago, use a special tool to plant pines that produce resin for biofuel.

TOI ,Crest ( 24/10/09) -SMS LINGO.

This ain’t TMI, sorry for the confuzzlement
Like George Orwell, GenNow believes the function of language is to communicate clearly. And quick messaging requires crunching and compressing words. But what on earth does tenjewberymuds mean?

Epic fail/Uber fail: Interjection to show disapproval
Win: Interjection to show approval
Traffucked: To be stuck in traffic
Moobs: Man boobs
TMI: Too much information
Noob: A newbie
Wing it: To do something with no preparation
FLK: Funny little kid
HLC: Hot looking chic
PWN: To defeat, outdo or outmatch someone
Defriend: Social networking terminology for deleting a friend from your network Facepalm: To hit one's own forehead with your hand/palm, and drag it down one’s face; most often done in frustration or agitation
OCSL: On Chair Stifling Laughter
Lollercaust: When a large group of people are ROFLMAO (rolling on the floor laughing my ass off) at the same joke or event
Tenjewberymuds: Thank you very much
Awesomeness: The quality of being awesome
Confuzzled: Being confused and puzzled

TOI, Crest ( 24/10/09)-Diabetes

Fast Facts

• People with pre-diabetes have impaired fasting glucose (IFG), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), or both — conditions where blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes

• People with pre-diabetes are five to 15 times more likely to develop Type II diabetes than people with normal glucose values

• Progression to diabetes among those with prediabetes is not inevitable

• People with pre-diabetes who lose body weight and engage in moderate physical activity of at least 150 minutes per week can prevent or delay diabetes and even attain normal blood glucose levels

• If one parent has diabetes, the child has a 33 per cent higher risk of becoming diabetic after the age of 40

• Around 35 per cent of those who suffer from IGT go on to develop diabetes in a period of eight years

• Over the course of a lifetime, as many as 85 per cent of people with IGT, who neither lose weight nor engage in moderate physical activity, will develop diabetes

• The risk of coronary heart disease is at least two to three times higher in patients with pre-diabetes

• Indians convert faster to diabetes from pre-diabetes

How can you reverse pre-diabetes?

Healthy choices of food: Restrict your diet to food with low fat and low calories. Increase your intake of fresh fruits and high fibre vegetables
Lifestyle modification: Keep yourself as active as possible. Use the stairs instead of an elevator. Walk for at least 45 minutes a day and, if possible, practise yoga
Maintain an ideal body weight: People who are overweight develop more complications in the maintenance of normal blood sugar level, so control your weight
Eat smart
Drink at least eight glasses of water a day
Include wholegrains, nuts, raw vegetables and dairy products in your diet
Eat at least five fruits every day, the best being pomegranate and citrus fruits
Try to consume more cucumber, lettuce, onion, garlic, carrot and spinach
Eat a high-fibre diet to lower your body’s need for insulin
Take half a teaspoon of cinnamon twice a day; it has the potential to reduce blood sugar by as much as 50 points
Take bitter gourd (karela) as a juice or in cooked form to boost body glucose tolerance
Include herbs like fenugreek, mustard, neem, turmeric and cumin in your diet to help regulate your blood sugar levels
Foods to avoid
Refined sugar, syrups, jam, ice-cream, cakes, sweet biscuits, chocolates, soft drinks, condensed milk, cream and fried foods
Fats like butter, ghee and hydrogenated vegetable oil should also be avoided
Salt consumption should be reduced to a minimum. Reduce caffeine and alcohol. Have green tea instead

Pune Times ( 24/10/09) Efficient Time Management.

Good time management is important in all areas of your life
Times News Network

PEOPLE often cut down on activities that are healthy and helpful in building relationships, to save time. This increases stress levels, leading to health problems later on. Here are some points to manage time.
Do not overcommit: This is important especially if you are not confident of fulfilling the tasks.
Delegate work: Find ways to merge different aspects of your life rather than treat them as water-tight compartments.
Take a break:
Working continuously adds to stress levels. Take breaks. This will help you resume work with added vigour.
Utilise travel time: Use travel time for contemplation or planning. This will help not only to spend your time, but also help think of issues with a clear mind. Maintain a diary: This helps to prioritise different tasks. However, prioritise work on realistic grounds.
Plan long-term: When you do this, you save a lot of time.

Pune Times ( 24/10/09) Weight vs health

Do you give more importance to your weight than your overall health?
Times News Network

A majority of women are more concerned about their weight than overall health, says a recent US poll. The new poll has found, it is not health-related issues that’s weighing down most women, but weight-related ones — even among the 26 per cent of respondents whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is in the normal range.
Of the 1,000 respondents, just one-third said they didn’t like their physical condition — despite the fact that obesity and a sedentary lifestyle increase the risk of ailments like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
“So many women think more about the number on the scale than whether their blood pressure or cholesterol is normal,” an American daily quoted registered dietitian Keri Gans, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, as saying. “They really don’t think about disease risk as much as they do about their weight,” Gans added.
The survey also revealed that women exercise for a median of just 80 minutes per week, which means that half the women do even less exercise. A mere eight per cent of the women surveyed said that they eat the minimum recommended servings of fruit and vegetables (five a day) and a full 28 per cent said they consume those five servings just once a week or less.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pune Times ( Times wellness -23/10/09) Tips for healthy teeth & hair.

Ten tips to keep your teeth healthy

And you can do it right at home...

Taking care of your teeth can prevent expensive dental procedures in the future. And while regular dental visits do play an important role in overall care, small at home remedies can help you get that million-dollar smile. Dr Shantanu Jaradi offers a few tips...
Drink plenty of water. It is a natural mouthwash that can help reduce stains left by coffee, soda and red wine.
Ensure that you include a lot of fruits and vegetables in your diet. By eating crisp fruits and vegetables such as apples, celery, cucumbers and carrots, your mouth is naturally cleaned. Plaque and food particles between your teeth and gums are removed during this process.
Grab a piece of cheese. After
dinner, munch on some cheddar - it can help neutralise acids in your mouth.
Chew sugar free gum. Chewing gum increases saliva production, which helps to wash away plaque acid and bathe teeth in needed minerals to strengthen tooth enamel. Don’t forget to brush after consuming acidic drinks. But after drinking orange juice and soda pop, don’t reach for the toothbrush right away. Wait at least 20 minutes to reduce the chance of enamel wear.
Rinse with hydrogen peroxide. A small amount of this mixed with water makes a great antibacterial and whitening rinse after brushing. But remember not to swallow! Brush with baking soda, a gentle abrasive that can clean like toothpaste.
Use a straw. Might feel awkward to drink coffee or red wine through a straw, but doing so can help minimise direct contact between your pearly whites and these staining liquids. Sensitive teeth can find relief from rough bristles by running the toothbrush under hot water before brushing.
Tongue cleaning is very important. It helps reduce bad breath and improve oral hygiene
status because a large number of bacteria reside in the rough corrugated surface of tongue. Most dental professionals advise that poor oral hygiene, such as not brushing, not flossing, or not rinsing enough is the leading cause of gum disease and tooth decay.
Avoid sugar and starches. Both sugar and carbs can feed bacteria that cause tooth decay. It’s just not the sweet stuff - a handful of crackers can have the same effect as a candy bar at feeding bacteria. Try these healthy snacks that don’t attack your teeth — celery and carrot snacks with hummus or avocado dip, vegemite crackers with cheese or plain yogurt, fresh fruit and nuts Brush and floss. A regular visit to a dentist for a clean up or a cavity check will incur minimum expenditure but would save you from maximum expenditure in the future.

Care for your hair

The dry and cold weather can be very damaging to your hair as it tends to steal away the necessary moisture. Proper preventive steps need to be taken during this season to ensure that your hair stays healthy. Ideally before stepping out in the cold, dry air, wear a scarf to protect your hair against the cold breeze. But make sure it is not so tight that it restricts blood circulation in your scalp. Follow these tips...
Use a conditioner every time you wash your hair. Once your hair is moist, lock in the moisture with a last rinse of cold water. This will also give your hair that extra shine! Don’t step outdoors if your hair is still wet. Limit the use of a hair dryer. It will dry out your scalp. Avoid washing your hair with very hot water. Use lukewarm water instead.