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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.

Mumbai Mirror ( 23/10/09) :Matter of the heart

Experts tell Lekha Menon and Lata Mishra how over-exercising and lack of sleep can do more harm than good to the heart

The lessons have been spelt out time and again. For a strong heart, exercise regularly, eat well and lead a healthy lifestyle. As it turned out, even these measures weren't enough to save Ranjan Das, the 42-year-old CEO and MD of SAP, a multinational corporation, from succumbing to a cardiac arrest even as he finished a gym session at his Bandra apartment. According to reports, Das was a fitness freak, had no bad habits and had even participated in the marathon. Perhaps the only black spot in an otherwise healthy schedule was lack of sleep (reportedly Das could get only a few hours of sleep every day).
Interestingly, while exercising ranks high up there in the healthy lifestyle to-dos, if you overdo it (to compensate for lack of other healthy habits) or do not get your required quota of sleep, you are only adding to your heart troubles, say doctors. Here's why:
"The Mumbai lifestyle is such, most of the stress goes undetected," says Dr Rajiv Bhagwat, cardiologist attached with Nanavati Hospital, Criticare and others. "The long commute, erratic timings, even environmental pollution has an impact on wellness."
Little wonder that the age of people complaining of heart ailments is getting younger by the day. Dr Chander Vanjani, head of cardiology, Hinduja Hospital cites the case of a 28-year-old chain-smoker who died of a heart-attack despite having no family history. Another patient had no vices, yet suffered an attack because of stress. "Since the last two years, at least five-10 people in the age group of 25-39 approach me every week with cholesterol abnormality and diabetes-hypertension," he says.
Sleep is often the casualty of a super busy, jet-setting lifestyle. Don't pride on your ability to function "on just a few hours of sleep". Good sleep is important for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart rate. "Our body has its own mechanism to maintain blood pressure, heart rate etc. Lack of sleep disturbs the biological clock, which no amount of exercising can rectify," says Dr Bhagwat.
Being fit is fine, but excessive gymming can cause more harm than good. Yoga expert and dietician Rujuta Divekar warns against the tendency to use "exercise as a form of punishment". "Meditation works best when you do it with a calm mind, similarly for physical exercise you need a well-rested body," she says.
The biggest disservice you can cause your body is hit the gym too hard when you are already feeling exhausted. "People who are sleep deprived have a lower metabolic rate. You won't lose weight then. On the contrary, you might end up being more flabby," she adds.
Over-exercising causes rise in blood pressure leading to plaque rupture. The rupture exposes and even attracts the unwanted or clot forming tissues. All of which is an ideal recipe for a heart attack. “Follow the norms of exercise if you are a fitness freak,” advises Dr Bhagwat. “Do natural exercises too – sporting activities, swimming, walking etc.”
The key, ultimately, is to find a balance — between life, work, exercise and most importantly, sleep (a factor most always-onthe-run-professionals ignore). Don't wait for modern-day living to take a toll.
The Saffolalife Study 2009, covering 8,469 people found that 49.1 per cent Indians were at high risk for developing heart diseases. Men in the 30-39 age group (totalling 1,598 of those surveyed) fell in this.
Mumbai and Chennai men were worst off (with a high-risk ratio of 49.6 per cent and 53.8 per cent respectively). The reasons were familiar: long working hours, commuting, unhealthy eating habits and lack of physical activity as compared to other cities.
Dr Shashank Joshi, endocrinologist with Lilavati Hospital, who was associated with the survey says, “The survey only underlines what we have been seeing, abnormal cholesterol and triglycerides levels among youngsters, all due to stress and disrupted sleep patterns."

Ranjan Das,42, suffered a cardiac arrest despite a healthy lifestyle

Recipes & handy tips.

ASIAN AGE ( 15/11/09)
While making burfi at home, add a cupful of grated carrot/beetroot to the coconut and other ingredients and it will give natural colouring with loads of nutrition.

Coat peppers with olive oil before stuffing and baking them. They will retain their original colour.

Punch holes in amla and soak it in honey for about a month. Eat two amlas everyday as a general health tonic. When boiling corn, do not add salt to the water because it toughens the corn. If you want you can add a little sugar as it softens the corn seeds.

ASIAN AGE ( 8/11/09)

Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, and set the heat to medium-low. Heat till it gets warm and remove.
This keeps the pizza crust crispy.

Before baking in an oven, pour sticky substances into a measuring cup and fill it with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry the cup. Next, add your ingredients and watch how easily it comes right out after getting baked.

The vegetables retain the crispness and nutrients when they are cooked in a vegetable steamer.

ASIAN AGE( 11/10/09) Useful tips

Slice root vegetables and shred green ones. Break cauliflower into sprigs. They cook more quickly this way.

Clean vegetables and make them germ free by adding some salt or vinegar drops while washing them.

Cauliflower odour is almost eliminated if you drop a few unshelled walnuts into the pot.

Make your own celery salt by drying celery leaves thoroughly. Crush them to a powder or rub them through a sieve and mix with salt.

Before purchasing lettuce always remember that the discoloured leaves show that the lettuce is in a poor condition. Even after removing the skin it won't taste good so always go for the greens.

Asian Age ( 1/11/09)
Add a pinch of common salt and sugar while cooking vegetables. It avoids discoloration of spinach and green leafy vegetables and retains their original colour.

Add a large piece of stale bread to the vessel in which green leafy vegetables are cooking so that they don't take on unpleasant flavours or unpleasant odours during cooking.

Curry leaves used in any dish are usually discarded. To prevent this, here is a simple idea. In about one to two teaspoons of oil, fry washed curry leaves till crisp. Now, crush with hands or coarsely powder in a mixer. Store this curry powder in an airtight bottle and use it to flavour gravies, chutneys, idli batter, etc.

Wash vegetables in a large bowl of cool water to which you've added two to three tablespoons of baking soda. This helps remove pesticides as well as any dirt and wax.

HT Mumbai(11/10/09)HEALTHY RECIPE Lemon Pasta

1 tsp olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic 1/2 cup peas, 1/3 cup shredded car rot, 1/2 cup broth, 2 tbl sps non-fat cream cheese, 2 cups cooked pasta, t 3 tbl sps grated Parmesan cheese, . 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind, salt and - pepper.

In a nonstick pan pour oil, add - garlic and saute. Add peas and car rot. Remove and add broth and . cream cheese to pan and cook over medium-high heat until cheese melts.

Stir constantly. Stir in pasta, and last four ingredients; cook for a minute. Per serving: calories 477, , calories from fat 127.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Palak ki dandiyon ka raita ( Raita of palak leaf stalks)

This recipe was taught by my mom.It is healthy & fat free !


One bunch of palak-cut the stalks of the palak leaves.

Two tablespoons of thick dahi ( please drain out the water ).

One teaspoon roasted jeera & lightly crushed.

Salt to taste.


Clean the palak stalks thoroughly in water & drain out all the water.Cut the palak stalks into one inch pieces & steam cook them in a vessel.

Let the steamed palak stalks cool.Now crush them slightly with your fingers.Beat the dahi & pour over the palak stalks.Add salt to taste & mix it in the dahi.Your raita is ready.Garnish with the roasted jeera & serve.

Pune Mirror ( 21/10/09)-Fatigue

Mitali Parekh gets experts to tell you how to cope

Music director Pritam has been so fatigued recently, that he had to take time out and go to Kolkata. Such has been the pressure on the Kal Aaj Kal composer that his smoking habit spiralled out of control and he’s been advised a prolonged holiday. If you thought stress was bad, meet its extreme cousin — fatigue.


“Fatigue is another word for extreme exhaustion of both mental and physical strength,” says psycho-therapist Salma Prabhu. “You feel you can’t go on or even talk to anyone. Short breaks don’t help; you need to take a longer one.” Mental fatigue is caused by any prolonged activity along with high level of stress and emotions. It is seen among individuals who work on tight deadlines for long duration and carry out tasks that require continuous attention and effort. It results in mistakes, affects decision making skills and drops performance drastically. One can prevent fatigue by defining limits and sticking to them. If you know the physical and mental threshold of work is say, eight hours, and include music, a walk or reading, then fatigue will rarely set in. People who exercise regularly, meditate, practice yoga and pranayam hardly experience fatigue. Many offices have soft music in the background, gym or cafeteria, all of which help alleviate stress.

Do this once a week

• Get a massage and listen to soothing music.

• Eat light and go for a brisk walk to pump up blood circulation.

• Avoid phone calls.
Jyoti Devjani of Shanti Spa at the Trident, Mumbai, has the following tips:

•Cut open, peel or deeply smell citrus fruits such as lemon, orange or lime between tasks.

• Carry rosemary, lavender, tulsi or lemon grass in cloth sachets or crush them and inhale deeply.

• Dab eucalyptus oil on a handkerchief, or crush leaves by hand and inhale.

• Keep a bunch of jasmine, desi roses and champa near your workspace.
Yoga trainer Yogesh Chavan prescribes the following asanas: Jalandhar Shuddhi Kriya: Under presure, lactic acid accumulates around our neck. Exercising it frees up the nervous system since all the nerves branch out from the base of the neck.
Rotate your neck clock-wise and anti-clockwise. Sit cross-legged on the floor. Drop the neck forward, chin should touch the chest, roll to your left, then drop your head back, roll to the right and come back to the starting position. Repeat in the anti-clockwise motion. Repeat five to six in each direction.
To relieve tired collar muscles, rest your hands on your thighs and roll your shoulders front to back and then back to front. Repeat five to six times. Jathar parivartanasan:The lower back feels the strain if you are on your feet for too long. Twisting it flexes the spine. Lie on your back and pull your knees up. Drop your knees to the left such that the left knee touches the floor and the right thigh and knee rests on it. Drop your head to the right side and your hands should be near your ears, as if you’ve just yawned. Hold for count of seven and change directions. Repeat three times for each side. Pressure point: The energy regeneration point is located on the middle of the inside of the right forearm. Press, roll and pump it with your left thumb to energise it. WHAT THEY SAY Listening to music keeps fatigue at bay; I even have western classical s piping in the theatre when I'm performing a surgery. Even 10 to 15 minutes of music on my MP3 player refresh me. I read a book, some kind of self-help or non-fiction work, between appointments. — Dr Ramakant Panda, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon (does six to eight surgeries every day) Really, de-stressing is automatic. If you have a clean conscience, there is absolute no stress. I
my work. When an innocent person is involved, I get stressed. I listen to music. I also love reading books but get no time for it. I go for long walks with my wife, which is de-stressing. I always love visiting old temples to get de-stressed. If you go to nature, they are like living creatures and absorb our negative energy.
— Shrikant Shivde, Advocate Actually people are not aware that in our field fatigue does come in. Only
we take rest or sleep, we get destressed. I like music but get less or no time for it. Most police personnel carry stress and are overburdened. There is no time to cultivate recreation or hobbies. My hobbies include sher-o-shayariand when on the move, I try listening to it.
— Arvind Patil, Senior PI, Thane

Mumbai Mirror ( 21/10/09)-Rude Food.

The root cause of most ailments is faulty eating. How do you fight them? With the right food, says Dr Nupur Krishnan.

Felt heavy after stuffing yourself with samosas, sweets, masaledar curries at the recent bash?

Don't rush to pop a pill when the solution is right in your kitchen. Most common digestive problems are caused by food — either by eating too much or too little or at the wrong time. Fortunately, these can be rectified by watching what you eat. Understanding your body mechanism and bringing a few changes to your dietary patterns is enough to help you get back on your feet again after an attack of acidity or gastritis. Here's how to cure some common problems caused by food… with food.
What: It's that familiar feeling of heartburn, vomiting, coughing, stomach pain and bloating which makes you run for an antacid.
Acidity is caused by an imbalance between the acid secreting mechanism of the stomach and the protective mechanisms that ensure their safety. It results when there is excess production of acid which may enter the lower part of the oesophagus (Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux).
Avoid: Tur dal, channa dal, raw vegetables, cabbage, kidney beans (rajma), white bread, bakery products, refined flour, noodles, poha, ragi, spinach, peanuts, dry coconut, canned foods and stuff containing monosodium glutamate, caffeine and alcohol. All these cause acidity or aggravate it. Don't take too hot or too cold meals.
Combat with: Fresh fruits or vegetables, cumin, ajwain. Have small and frequent meals. Increase your chewing time so that food masticates well in the mouth. Drink lots of water (but don't gulp it, sip it). Have few drops of lemon or jal jeera, they help increase saliva production.
What: Occurs primarily because bowel movement is restricted because of weak colon muscles. Defecation may be very painful and in severe cases, can lead to symptoms of bowel obstruction. Lack of fluid and fibre, a sedentary lifestyle, stress, side effects of medication, even pregnancy can cause constipation.
Avoid: Alcohol, refined, starchy and sugary foods
Combat with: Plenty of water, at least 1.5 to 2 litres a day. Have food high in fibre and fluid — banana, raw banana, lotus stem, beans, gavar), and seasonal fruits, especially skinny ones like guava, pear, plum and apple.
What: Most common digestive disorder caused by reflux — the sphincter muscles connecting the oesophagus to the stomach fails to close. So the acid in the stomach regurgitates. You might feel angina pain or even bloating often leading people to mistake it as symptoms leading to heart attack. Avoid: Large, late meals, fatty food, tobacco, caffeine in all forms, tomato based goodies — chips, sauces and dips. Try not eating two hours before bedtime. Also don't bend or lie down immediately after a meal. Alcohol too should be avoided, but a glass of wine is ok.
Combat with: Small and frequent meals, half a cup of cold milk before bedtime, drinks of tarragon, dill, mint, fennel and cumin.
What: Inflammation of the stomach lining, signalling indigestion. Gastritis could be acute (sudden), a result of faulty lifestyle or stress.
Or it could be chronic (longterm), aggravated by medicines or age. The symptoms are similar to that of acidity.
Avoid: Spicy food, chocolates, aerated beverages, fatty foods, tomato-based products and alcohol
Combat with: Bland food, vegetables that have high water content such as bottle gourd (dudhi), long parwal, tinda, pumpkin, water melon and papaya. Just sauté them or cook in pressure cooker without too much oil or spices.
What: If breaking wind at inopportune moments, bloating and burping is a constant embarrassment for you, blame it on acidity, indigestion and even irritable bowel syndrome. Sometimes intolerance of milk can also lead to flatulence.
Avoid: Lentils and legumes, especially if they are not soaked for eight hours or more. Juicy vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, sprouts. Also stop taking carbonated drinks, chewing gum, bran and mava sweets.
Combat with: High fibre foods that work as laxative — skinny fruits, lotus stem, raw banana and herbs such as rosemary, fennel, tarragon, thyme tea and ginger.
What: An inflammatory bowel disease where ulcers bleed in the colon and rectum.
Avoid: Foods high in insoluble fibre — bran, whole grain, sunflower seeds, dried fruit, potato skin, skinny fruits. Ironically, all these are very healthy for the system especially if you are diabetic, but bad for colitis patients. Also skip fats, oil, gas inducing stuff like beans, and dairy products.
Combat with: Sautéed and baked vegetables, baked veggies, decaffeinated coffee, soya milk.
(Dr Nupur Krishnan is director,Biologics Nutrition Clinic,Kandivli East).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

TOI,Pune ( 19/10/09)-Net is lawyers’ hunting ground

Watch What You Post On Social Networking Sites. It Can Be Used Against You As Evidence In Court
Shibu Thomas I TNN

Mumbai: Most of the over 20 million users of social networking sites in India do not hesitate before putting hourly status updates or photographs from their most recent holiday online. This brazenness is what lawyers these days hope for when they trawl the internet for damaging details on a person.
“Such material can be used as prima facie material in court, to corroborate other evidence when a spouse claims cruelty or to prove other allegations,’’ said family court lawyer Mridula Kadam.
Advocates who have profiles on the likes of Facebook and Orkut to keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues, are realising the use that technology can be put to. In the pre-Facebook era, the most common method of gathering personal information about an opponent was to engage the services of a private detective. This would entail months and sometimes years of persistence—for that one damaging photograph that would swing the case in their favour. These days, such information is a click away. The result? Naughty photographs and profile details are finding their way into court documents. These, say lawyers, provide rich fodder, especially in matrimonial disputes.
When advocate Mukesh Vashi, counsel for Bandra resident Arbaaz, logged on to Facebook to look for evidence against his client’s former Australian wife Meryl, he could not believe the amount of personal information that some people put online. For instance, they found that Meryl had uploaded some very suggestive pictures with her girlfriends.
“It can be argued that this is someone’s personal life, but if you place such information on a public forum like Facebook, one should be prepared for the consequences,’’ said Vashi. “The material that we found online helped us to show the court the contrast between Meryl’s wild lifestyle and Arbaaz’s traditional family ties. We were able to argue before the court that the couple’s son would have a more secure and safe upbringing in Arbaaz’s joint family,’’ added Vashi.
According to e-security expert Vijay Mukhi, people forget that social networking sites are essentially public spaces. “Today, human resource managers check Facebook profiles before deciding to hire a person. Information on such sites is also used to fix matrimonial alliances, so it is not surprising that lawyers are checking online profiles,’’ said Mukhi.
The lawyers on the opposite side can always argue that the photographs are fake or morphed, but the onus would be on them to prove it. “People put too much information online without realising that it can be damaging. A harmless photograph uploaded online or an innocuous status message can come back to haunt you in 10 years,’’ he added. Mukhi’s advice to tweeters and users of social networking sites: “Be careful and think of the consequences before uploading anything online.’’
At Your Own Risque
Australian national Meryl (26) did not bat an eyelid before putting up some risque photographs after a night out drinking with her girlfriends. Months later, her former husband, Bandra resident Arbaaz, used those photographs as evidence to substantiate his claim during a custody battle for his son in court that Meryl was not a good mother. The evidence was used in court, said the lawyer
California resident Ritesh Karnik (36) uploaded photographs of a holiday in Hawaii on a social networking site. Years later, those very photographs were used by his wife Naina (32) to back her claim that he had forced her to wear “skimpy clothes’’ (Names of couples have been changed to protect their identities)

HT ,Mumbai ( 18/10/09)-Neighbours

If your neighbour is in town and you notice that he or she has not opened his door for more than two days, try knocking on the door at different hours. If you don't get a reply, inform the police.

If you hear screams or sounds of violence from your neighbour's house, inform the police. If you see someone trying to make an unlawful entry into your neighbour's house - trying to open a locked door with a screwdriver, or entering through a window, for instance, report it to the police. If you know that your neighbour has been a victim of molestation, rape or violence, approach her, comfort her and take her to the police station immediately to register the case. If she is unwilling to come, call the police to the spot. If you see a stranger in your neighbourhood who is behaving suspiciously, you should call 100 -the police control room -- or inform your mohalla committee, which functions as the `eyes' an `ears' of the police in your neighbourhood.

Don't keep your distance from your neighbour/s (and don't get into small scraps with them either.) It is important for neighbours to be familiar to some degree with each other's lives and routines, because, in an emergency or unusual circumstances, it is your neighbour who can come to your aid the quickest, much before friends or family. If you witness a domestic fight, do not intervene unless the fight gets violent. Till there is violence, it is not a crime and does not concern the police.

Don't keep out of your neighbour's genuine problems because you're afraid of `getting involved in a police case'. You can always make an anonymous call.

Butterfly conservatory opens in Delhi-Asian Age ( 18/10/09)

ENVIRONMENT MINISTER JAIRAM RAMESH TO INAUGURATE The conservatory has been landscaped in a manner that visitors can view the habitat from a naturally elevated walkway or viewing gallery
Nature lovers now have a chance to understand the metamorphosis and life history of butterflies as a conservatory will be opened at the Lodhi Gardens on Monday by environment minister Jairam Ramesh.

The conservatory, a collaborative effort of Centre for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystems, the New Delhi Municipal Council, Delhi University and Green Circle, is being viewed by conservationists as a wakeup call for promotion of awareness about flora and fauna among citizens.

"Butterflies are considered to be sensitive to changes in habitat and climate and are good indicators of the health of a natural habitat. The metamorphosis and life cycle of butterflies too can provide an education in nature conservation," said Suhas Borker, founder member of Green Circle, a Delhi based NGO.
The conservatory, which has been developed within a specially landscaped area of three acres in Lodhi Gardens, has a natural and open habitat without any dome structures or net enclosures to contain the movement of the winged creatures.

"The conservatory has been landscaped in a manner that visitors can view the habitat from a naturally elevated walkway or viewing gallery. The area has been declared an insecticide and herbicide-free zone," Mr Borker added.

Apart from the common species of butterflies like the Common Mormon, Yellow Pansy, Striped Tiger and Plain Tiger, the conservatory also houses the Grass Jewel, which is one of the world's smallest butterflies.

CARAOKE The term is coined to describe singing along with music in a car, especially loudly and passionately.

Wellness by Dr. Shikha Sharma -HT Brunch ( 18/10/09)

Hormonal harmony

AS I explained in my previous column (Get the message, Oct 4), a hormonal imbalance is what happens when the natural balance of the hormones is disrupted. This can be due to an excess of a certain hormone or its deficiency. Imbalances could be due to anything from an unhealthy diet to lack of exercise, consumption of alcohol, use of medications, menopausal age, longterm use of hormone pills and so on.
The best way to manage a hormonal imbalance is to rectify the problem in its early stages rather than later, when the symptoms can become debilitating despite medication.

Nutrition is the foundation of healing, so it needs special attention. Foods that might contain doses of hormones must be avoided. Such foods are dairy and meat. The hormones in meat and dairy may not be active on consumption, but they do have components of hormones that may cause imbalances in your body. In fact, the meat and dairy industries use hormones to increase milk production and artificially increase the size of animals. The hormone Oxytocin is commonly used in milk production.

Women with serious hormone problems also need to look at the state of their liver and kidney.
These two organs are the body's cleansers and if they are not functioning properly, there is a high chance of an inefficient degradation of hormones leading to an over-accumulation of circulatin hormones and therefore an imbalance. hormones and therefore an imba Foods of choice are organically grown fresh fruits and vegetables Organic farming is important for hormonal problems because the chemicals in the foods mimic the body's hormones or bind to existing receptors, which leads to an over-availability of endogenous hormones. As far as is practical, eat unrefined foods. These are foods in their whole form, such as dals with skin, brown rice, dalia, channa, lobhia and so on.

Nuts like walnuts, almonds and pine nuts and seeds like flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and watermelon seeds, are sources of good oils that are essential for the body.

Avoid the use of aerosols (used in cleaning cars, paints, etc) to reduce the load of toxins on the liver.

Herbs like Ashok (common decoction: ashokarisht), kumara asav, aloe vera, shatavri, tulsi, licorice, cardamom, guggulu, gotu kola and brahmi are used for hormonal disorders among women.

Flavours by Sanjeev Kapoor - HT Cafe ( 18/10/09) -Kesar Pista Cheese cake.

Grind 1 cup blanched, peeled pistachios to a coarse powder leaving aside some for garnish. Cut these into slivers. Crush 12-15 bran biscuits to a coarse powder and put it into a bowl. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in the microwave for one minute on high.

Soak 3 tablespoons gelatin in hot water in a bowl and stir till it dissolves completely. Add melted butter to the biscuit powder and mix. Transfer this mixture into a spring form tin and press to make a base. Level the surface and keep it in the refrigerator to set.

Take 2 cups grated paneer in a mixer bowl. Add 1 cup hung yogurt (chakka), 1 cup condensed milk and a few strands soaked saffron. Blend till smooth.

Add the gelatin and blend once again. Fold in pistachio powder.

Pour this mixture into the spring form tin over the biscuit base. Keep in the freezer for about six hours or till it sets well.

Garnish with pista slivers, cut into wedges and serve.

Potato Casserole Healthy recipe -HT ,Mumbai ( 18/10/09)

8 mashed potatoes; 1/2 cup sour cream; 1 sliced onion; 1 sliced capsicum; 8 tbsp butter, 11/2 cups cheddar, 6 slices cooked bacon. Salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread half the mashed potatoes in a casserole dish and layer sour cream on top. Sprinkle seasoning.

Saute onion and bell pepper in butter and layer over cream. Next, put a layer of potatoes.
Add butter and seasoning. Top with cheese and bake for 30 minutes. Serve with crumbled bacon over top.

Instead of bacon,grated cheese or carrot can be used-this is my suggestion as bacon is non-vegetarian.
Asian Age ( 18/10/09) - Wellness
Calorie check
One bowl of sweet corn chicken soup has about 170 calories One bowl of tomato soup is just about 73 calories

After the festival -Mumbai Mirror ( 18/10/09) & Pune Times ( 19/10/09)

YO-YO? NO,NO !-Mumbai Mirror ( 18/10/09)
Don’t counter festive bingeing with periodic starvation, says nutritionist Sneha Jain

One sandesh led to five during Durga puja, and now you’ve had one too many karanjis. But don’t try to banish the ghosts of pedhas past with sudden starvation or two-day detoxes. Nutritionist Sneha Jain tells us about the good, bad and ugly of yo-yo dieting.
Also known as weight cycling, yo-yo dieting is a continuous pattern of loosing and gaining. It encourages taking up fad diets, like the low carb-high protein and starving being the most common ones. Weight loss with the help of this method can range from two to five kilos per cycle; sometimes it can even go up to 25 kgs!
Step 1: People go on a crash diet that increases the metabolic rate and leads to instant weight loss.
Step 2 : Weight loss leads to quitting the diet plan and returning to the normal eating habits. Now you eat all the forbidden foods that have so recently helped you shed the weight. This lowers the metabolic rate.
Step 3: So you instantly put on weight and in frustration, go back on the crash diet. You lose weight immediately, but the pattern is set.

The body adapts to the chronic dieting pattern by lowering the metabolic rate to cope with the energy deficit during the starvation period. So if you need 1850 kcals to go through a no dieting day, on a low calorie diet, your body drops down your metabolic rate. When you return to your regular eating pattern, your body doesn’t require the calories you were taking earlier. The excess calories result in weight gain.

Yo-yo dieting causes loss of lean body mass. Muscles are more metabolically active, i.e. help burn more calories as compared to fat. So a person with higher muscle mass burns more calories. Loss of muscle mass can further drop the metabolic rate, making it harder for the body to lose weight.

Yo-yo dieting results in formation of stubborn fat which metabolises slowly and hence is hard to lose.

Our body has two enzymes to metabolise fat — fat releasing and fat storing. The altering effects of yo-yo dieting on these can be permanent.

The sudden weight gain and loss causes hormonal changes in the body. In women, these changes could lead to irregular periods.

Exposing body to several types of crash diets also causes a dip in serotonin levels, which is known to enhance the mood, thus resulting in depression. And since the body is undergoing constant stress, it releases a hormone called cortisol that plays a major role in accumulation of fat in abdominal region. Stress also causes people to eat more.

Most crash diets ask you to keep away from high fibre foods, disrupting bowel movement which could lead to severe constipation.

A high protein diet encourages consumption of animal proteins that are high in saturated fats and cholesterol, and clog the arteries. Thus, one is at the risk of developing a host of heart diseases.

Excessive amounts of protein can increase uric acid levels nudging an ailment known as gout — a painful form of arthritis. A low carb-high protein diet, increases chances of developing osteoporosis. Also, excessive amounts of protein can lead to loss of calcium — an essential component of bone health.

Carbohydrates are the first choice of the body as an energy source. But a high protein diet forces the body to switch over to fat as the main source of energy. When fat is oxidised, ketone bodies are produced in the body which loads the kidney and causes bad breath.
(Sneha Jain is a consultant nutritionist with Centre for Obesity & Diabetes Support)

Beat the bloat!Pune Times ( 19/10/09)
So you’ve overdosed on sweets and rich, meaty foods yesterday? Here’s how to get your digestive system back on track after your Diwali indulgence
Times News Network

THANKS to that mutton do piyaaza or that egg fried rice with chilli fish, zipping your pants is going to be a real struggle. Abdominal bloating not only looks bad, but can cause physical discomfort. The good news? Experts say stomach bloating is a condition you can avoid pretty easily. Here’s how...
Avoid Constipation
Too little fibre, fluids, and physical activity can lead to constipation, which can result in bloating. To avoid this, eat a diet high in fibre (25 daily grams for women and 38 for men) with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Also, drink plenty of fluids (aim for sixeight glasses a day) and aim for physical activity for at least 30 minutes, five times a week.
Rule out allergens
Food allergies and intolerances can cause gas and bloating, but these need to be confirmed by your doctor. Don’t self-diagnose. Check this out with your doctor.
Hold the sugary drinks
The fizz in carbonated drinks (even diet ones) can cause gas to get trapped in your belly. Instead, drink water flavoured with lemon, lime, or cucumber. Or just reduce the number of fizzy drinks you consume each day. Try some peppermint tea for a soothing beverage that may help reduce the bloat.
Limit salty foods
Highly processed foods tend to be high in sodium and low in fibre, both of which can contribute to that bloated feeling. Get in the habit of reading food labels. When buying processed, canned, or frozen foods, shoot for no more than 500 gms of sodium per serving in any product.
Go slow with the beans and gassy vegetables
If you’re not used to eating beans, they can cause that gassy feeling. So can the cruciferous family of vegetables, such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. That doesn’t mean you should give up on these super-nutritious, high-fibre vegetables. Just work them into your diet slowly until your body adjusts to the compounds that can initially cause gas.
Eat smaller meals more often
Instead of three big meals per day, try eating smaller meals more often. This can keep you free of the bloated feeling that often follows large meals. Eating more frequently can also help control blood sugar and manage hunger. So go for five to six small meals each day, but make sure the quantity of food and calories are proportionate to your needs.
Don’t eat too fast
Eating quickly and not chewing your food well can cause air swallowing that leads to bloating. So slow down and enjoy your food. Your meals should last at least 30 minutes. Also, keep in mind that digestion begins in the mouth, and you can decrease bloating just by chewing your food more. There’s another benefit to slowing things down: When you take your time to thoroughly chew and taste your food, your snack or meal becomes more satisfying. And studies have shown that if you eat more slowly, you may end up eating less.
Treating hangovers
Times News Network

Have some honey: Have a spoonful of honey or spread it over a slice of bread or even some crackers. This helps you get over your hangover faster because honey contains high concentration of fructose that helps in burning off the effects of alcohol quicker. Drink some juice: Have a glass of orange or tomato juice. Not only are these high in fructose, but also contain a lot of vitamin C, that will give you quick relief from a hangover. Skip the caffeine: Coffee will only make you feel worse than what you already do. Except making you feel more dehydrated, coffee won’t help you in anyway, so skip it completely!
Have plenty of water:
Alcohol dehydrates your system and you’ll only make it worse by avoiding water. Make sure that before you turn in for the night, you gulp down plenty of water. If you don’t feel like having plain water, squeeze some lime into a glass of soda water and have that. Ginger helps: Ginger is one of the most natural ways to cure a hangover. Add some pieces of ginger in water and let it boil for ten minutes. Strain it, add a little orange juice, lemon juice and a bit of honey and have the mixture.
Eat some bananas:
Since bananas are found to be rich in potassium, eat one after a night of heavy drinking and see your hangover vanish. One of the best ways to avoid a heavy hangover is to make sure that you don’t drink on an empty stomach. Eat well and always drink at a slow pace. The faster you drink, the quicker you get drunk.

Chirotis- Celeb cook-in-The TOI - LIFE dt.18/10/09


“Like every cuisine, Karnataka food has a wide variety of desserts. Some of the popular sweet dishes of Karnataka are chiroti (a light flaky pastry sprinkled with granulated sugar and soaked in almond milk).
Makes: 10-11 chirotis
Preparation time: 45 mins
INGREDIENTS Maida or all purpose flour: 1 cup Rice flour: 2 tsp Vanaspati (Dalda): 2 tsp Salt: a pinch Sugar powder: 3/4 cup Cardamom powder: 1/2 tsp Ghee: 1 tsp (Do not use normal oil for deep frying, it spoils the taste.)
METHOD Mix flours, salt and vanaspati. Add sufficient water to make a puri dough. Keep the dough aside for almost 1 hour. Mix sugar and cardamom. Keep it aside. Make 7 small roti-size balls from the dough. Roll into thin rotis. Keep one roti on a flat board. Apply a bit of ghee on the roti, sprinkle 1/4 tsp of maida on it. Keep the next roti on the first one (keep the second roti slightly lower down, it should not cover the full roti. Repeat the procedure.) Roll the rotis into a tight roll (do not apply pressure). Cut the roll into 2 and 1/2 inch pieces. Take one piece, with the help of a rolling pin, roll it into small circles. Take extra care at this stage. It should not be rolled like a normal puri. Roll from center to the side, from all sides. All the layers should be clearly visible.
Heat vanaspati in a pan. Deep fry the chirotis on a medium flame. While frying, slightly press the chirotis on the layers so as to make the layers separate (do not apply pressure). Take out on a clean kitchen towel. Spread the sugar mixture on the fried chiroti.
Store it in a dry, airtight container. This remains good at least for 15 days (if stored in a dry place).

QUICK RECIPE :HT Mumbai dt.4/10/09

QUICK RECIPE Broccoli walnut salad ( Lifestyle- ur fitness,nutrition & medical guide ) QUICK RECIPE

One head of broccoli, 1/2-cup toasted walnuts; 1/3-cup raisins, 1/3cup mayonnaise, 1/4-cup honey, 1/4-cup lemon juice.

Lightly steam broccoli, but not too much that it loses its crunchiness. Cut into bite size pieces and chill. To make the dressing, combine mayonnaise, honey and lemon juice. Pour over broccoli; add walnuts and raisins and serve.

Deepavali snacks Pune mirror dt.14/10/09

Makes 6-8
Ingredients For filling
Coconut — 1 Sugar — 75 Gms Few Cashewnuts, Raisins,Almonds, all crushed For Covering
Wheat Flour — 125 Gms Refined Flour — 75 Gms Oil — 75 Ml and Separate for frying Milk — 100 Ml Salt, to taste Method
Sieve the flour and mix it with warm oil, some water dissolved with milk and salt. Knead to make hard dough. Scrape the coconut. In a non stick kadhai, mix the coconut with sugar and put it on a low flame to cook. Stir occasionally. Once the mixture leaves the kadhai, add the dry fruits and remove from flame and allow it to cool. Make equal balls of the dough, around 1 1/2 inch diameter. Roll it out using rolling pin. Fill in a spoonful of the mixture on one side of the semi-circle. Lift the other side to seal and give a shape on a semi-circle. Use very little water to seal the edges. Make incursions with a help of a fork at the edges. Fry in either vanaspati gheeor refined oil.
Makes half kg
Pressed Slim Rice Flakes (Poha) — 500 Gms Roasted Groundnuts, skin removed — 250 Gm Dry Coconut, sliced — ½ Green Chillies — 8-10 Sesame Seeds — ½ Tbsp Powdered Sugar — 2 Tbsp Curry Leaves — 15-20 Mustard Seeds — 1 Tbsp Asafoetida (hing) — 1 Tbsp Turmeric — 1 Tbsp Cumin Powder — 1 Tbsp Coriander Powder — ½ Tsp Oil — 125 Ml
Slightly roast the rice flakes for twothree minutes and spread on a paper to cool. Take oil in a kadhai, fry one by one the groundnuts and sliced dry coconut and put it on the rice flakes. In the same oil, temper mustard seeds, hing, sesame seeds, green chillies, curry leaves, turmeric, cumin powder and coriander powder. Put this mixture on to the rice flakes and mix it with salt and powdered sugar. Check for the seasoning and mix the rice flakes so that all the masalais spread evenly.
Makes 100-150 Gms
Milk — 1 Cup Sugar — 1 Cup Ghee — 1 Cup Refined Flour or Wheat Flour — 1 ½ Cup Oil, for frying Method
Mix milk, sugar, and gheeand allow boiling in a deep pan.Add some salt. Once when sugar melts, remove from flame and mix in the flour. Knead to dough using a wooden spoon. Keep this dough wrapped in a moist cloth for one hour. Knead the mixture again and roll out to a thick chapatti(three-four mm). Using the tip of the knife, cut into horizontal and vertical strips. Make sure you leave one and a half cm distance between two lines. Deep fry in oil till golden brown, take it out and place it on a tissue paper.