Friday, September 30, 2011

Can exercise make one smarter?

Oh, how I wish I had known to ask that question when I was still in school. May be too late now?

Supposedly not. Any kind of physical exercise at any age is good for the brain cells and stimulation. Weight lifting stimulate growth factors in muscles, while actual running, aerobics, treadmill, etc. stimulate the growth of new brain cells. The more physically active people are at any age, the better they are in performing activities that require brain power.

A smart move for all would be to include at least a 30-min. to an hour exercise to stay alert and possibly avoid dementia or other age related memory loss problems.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Once again, last Saturday I had dinner at Rasoi. Extraordinary food and service. I was a bit disappointed with the Vegetable Chettinad since the sauce was more creamy than the brown sauce I was looking for. Next time, my selections are going to be Mulligatawy soup, tandoori paratha with Saag Panner and Dum Aloo.The kulfi is off-the-charts at Rasoi and the best dessert on the menu.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Authentic Mysore Bonda

Recipe of the week is Mysore Bonda. Enjoy this south indian Mysore Bonda, you'll never go for any other kind again!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Did you check out this incredible Okra recipe?

I posted this okra recipe a while ago. Here it is again as a continution to my Okra recipes week.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Weight loss, dieting and exercise

Yes, back to the same topic.

It is hard to figure out why diets fail. I am not an expert at this but know at least a handful of people who are on diets right now. Many of them started off enthusiastically and have stuck to it for several months now. The weight loss has more or less plateaued. They all keep dieting, eating and exercising the same way, except on cheat days which is one day of the week.

Some of them want to lose a few more pounds but have not been able to do so. Others have started to gain the weight bit by bit. On the other hand, there are friends who were pretty obese but have lost several pounds. They are at the weight they want to be and have followed the same regimen for several months. Does this mean our bodies can lose only so much unless it is completely starved of calories? Why do some bodies react differently than others?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Test out Okra recipes

Here is a great tasting okra recipe of the week.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Basic Okra recipe

Here is a basic okra recipe without the slime and the stickiness.

Use fresh Okra. Wash and dry completely. Lay them on a pan. Sprinkle olive oil and minimal salt and roast the okra. May add some italian spices, but plain is good too.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Food truck versus Cafeteria

Which is the winner? Food truck, of course.

School cafeterias are promoting healthy eating to students by serving better food than ever before. Thanks to Michele Obama. I read an article where a food truck outside of Novato High school in California had students spending a good amount on all the junk food that the food truck sold. Students know that cafetaria food is better. Also, schools have vending machines with snacks like apples, milk, and baked chips. Yet, wonder why they go after the trucks?

Who said it was going to be an easy transformation? The transformation should probably start at home. Try to stop buying sodas and candies. Parents should never make it a part of their grocery items. Set standards by your own example. Then wait to see what happens. A treat once a week might truly help kids stay away from junk food and get over the sweet craving. Talking about them and following what is preached is most important as well. It might take months to years. But, it definitely starts at home.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wonders of medicine

I just read an incredible article titled, 'An Immune System Trained to Kill Cancer'. I have friends who either have cancer or have family members with cancer. I feel for them and often wondered how to help these people. I came across this uplifting article that talks about a new method.

Removal of T-cells — a type of white blood cell that fights viruses and tumors, then injecting the patient with new genes that would program the cells to attack the cancer. The altered cells are then injectd back into the patient. This has worked on patients like a miracle.

The University of Pennsylvania seems to have hit the jackpot by testing and hitting all targets and aspects of research to help a cancer patient recover and live a healthy life. The patients treated have been in remission for no more than a year. While it is too early to say here is a cure, so far the treatment has worked. The downside is while it has worked for some, on others the new gene has killed healthy tissues as well.

Can't wait to see how far this will go. Not sure what costs are involved but sounds promising for all types of cancers.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The wonder vegetable, Okra

People in the U.S. are used to finding Okra in the frozen section, especially in the midwest and northeast. The best tasting Okra are available in warm weather areas. There is nothing like fresh Okra lightly salted and sauteed with a touch of mustard seeds, urad lentil (found in Indian grocery stores)with a hot red chillie pepper for garnish. There are quite a few recipes in various forms such as fried, stuffed, stewed or dried Okra. My posting at vidyaswamyskitchen next week will have an Okra recipe. Here are the nutritional values of Okra from bits of information I gathered. One half cup contains:

Calories = 25
Dietary Fiber = 2 grams
Protein = 1.5 grams
Carbohydrates = 5.8 grams
Vitamin A = 460 IU
Vitamin C = 13 mg
Folic acid = 36.5 micrograms
Calcium = 50 mg
Iron = 0.4 mg
Potassium = 256 mg
Magnesium = 46 mg

Enjoy and look for Okra recipe at my kitchen web site.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Is weight loss related to lower calorie intake?

Initial studies on this topic had conflicting theories. The latest is, Lower calorie intake does indeed help dieters. I have tested it myself and it works. It is quite indeed easy to do as well. An eg- Have three-quarters the quantity of what you would normally eat for lunch. Try to not fill up the next meal with empty calories. Eat a proper nutritious meal. Do this for an entire week and see what happens. If you make a conscious effort and watch the calories, I am quite sure it will work. It may not help obesity but would help people who are trying to gradually lose a few pounds.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Friday, September 2, 2011

What do vegetarians eat?

Umm! That's a question most people ask me even if they are vegetarians, i.e. converted vegetarians. Quite a few pure vegetarians also ask me that question. They have grown up a vegetarian because of one reason or another, unlike me who grew up a vegetarian and come from a family of vegetarians all the way back from 1000s of years. Believe me, vegetarians don't starve. And as long as we stay away from modified starch, it is not that easy to become obese either. Anyway, here is just a sampling of the available choices for you.

One can make a delicious complete meal with things like squash blossoms, tofu cheese, vegetables coated with corn meal fried or baked, charred snap peas, yoba, marinated and then grilled oyster mushrooms,minestrone soups,lentil of all sizes, colors and varieties for high protein nutrition, (only an Indian grocery shop) will have these at a reasonable price. Then we have home made yogurt. Tons of recipes can be modified and created with the use of yogurt. Oh, never forget seasonal vegetables and fruits. Nothing will ever taste exotic without the addition of Spice and Sauce. You know what I mean!