Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Soft drinks - do you really need them?

I am not a great fan of soft drinks but I do like the taste of an orange soda or lemon/lime as in Sprite or Dr. Pepper off and on. I head toward these if they are available at gatherings.

For months on end I had not had a soda. But this morning I went out to get breakfast. They had an option of coffee or a softdrink. Coffee is not an option for me anytime, so I picked Dr. Pepper.

I eagerly had one sip. Although I wanted to drink at least half the cup, I couldn't get myself to have another sip. I just didn't want it anymore. It was a regular soda not diet but even the first sip left an after taste. So, I just poured the whole thing down the drian. Either my system is rejecting it or my taste buds have become too sensitive to artificial sweetners and high sugar drinks. I'm not quite sure. I'll try these sodas maybe on a pizza day and see what happens.

The surprising fact is some people get addicted to these sodas while others have experiences like me. Do we really need these sugar drinks in our diets?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Vegetable Quesadillas

Recipe of the week - Try these absolutely tasty vegetable quesadillas for dinner tonight.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I rarely had left over food when I was growing up. But after I left home, it became a necessity of life. I didn't have the time initially to cook a fresh meal every evening; now I have 45mins. to an hour to spare in the evenings after work. So, I cook everyday and am now used to it. Besides, my left over food was often consumed only by me. Thanks to my uber picky family.

Here's how I make cooking a meal every evening efficient. I plan the meals during weekends and make sure I have the ingredients ready. Even if they are not all fancy meals, at least a couple of them are involved ones. The planning makes it a lot easy. I take my leftovers for lunch. My refrigerator is clean and has just what is needed for the week.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Finally, they are here. The Food Police. At least in some cities and states.

We've all heard these statistics. One in three adults is obese and about 17% of children as well. There is growing awareness everywhere with promotion of exercise, diets, making good food available in poor neighborhoods, proper food labeling, stacking convenience store shelves with healthier foods, promoting and selling fruits and less sugared food varieties in cafeteria's and vending machines.

The Food Police is getting to be louder and louder. Now they are being heard. Yet not all local governments are able to execute their ideas in all areas. The Food Police are being pushed back in some cities.

Unfortunately, anti-obesity agendas have put convenience stores in the crosshairs of the food police, with at­tacks on sweet and salty snacks and beverages. Sales in grocery stores and convenience stores are bound to increase. Slowly and steadily. Until that happens, businesses would do well by working with the Food Police and helping out our obese citizens.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tomato Onion Chutney

I had not posted a recipe of the week in a while. Here is a simple chutney that's absolutely delicious and delightful.

This week's recipe is Tomato Onion Chutney. Try it with your morning breakfast. No other side condiments are necessary if you have this chutney.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mindfuly eating

Is it easy to meditate? Not for me. Whenever I attempt, it takes me a full 30 minutes to calm down even just a bit. It's not just one thought but several all at once like a series of movies, dramas and real life situations that race through my mind.

When I sit down to eat, it's the same race. A million thoughts rush in and before I know it, my plate is empty. I am not even sure what it is I ate at that meal. Possibly, many of you can relate to this crazy rush through life in everything we do.

There is a new way to deal with the hurried-stuffing of food and excess weight issues that result from it. It is called 'mindful eating'. It is a practice that's becoming more prevalent from universities to lunch hours at Google to holistic centers. The essence of 'mindful eating' is to think about the food and nothing else. The taste, texture, smell, looks, all being a part of it. The idea is to turn off the world completely and just focus on the food in front of you, relish every morsel, forget about everything else for a few mintues.

Advocates and experts on 'mindful eating' say we should spend meal time 'contemplating the enjoyment of spice, crunch, saltiness, warmth, tenderness and like-minded company'. Sounds easy. Actually, it may not be that easy. Although easier than trying out diets and failing miserably.

I'd say forget all diets. Just practice 'mindful eating' and who knows the excess pounds may just all melt away.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Labels are the worst offenders for weight loss. I agree.

Food Labels lie. That's the truth. They are more misleading than helpful. I believe the only positive here is the list of ingredients provided. It helps a bit but truly doesn't since most of the time there are unknown names and we don't have a clue as to what they really are. Why not abandon labeling completely like they do in India?

I just got back from a trip to India. I noticed that hardly any food item is labeled. People in general just don't question anything. It's like saying ignorance is bliss. So, which is better? Not labeling or lying?

Weight watchers need to realize that they have to find a different formula for measuring calorie intake and not totally rely on labels. There are too many hidden lies in those labels. A can of soup has x milligrams of salt per serving which is usually 1000s of mgms. A serving is only a third of a can. Most of us have a full can as a meal. So, the salt content is 1000s of mgms. times three. And, that's a lot of salt in one food item. This is just one tiny detail. Imagine how many more are missed.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Annalakshmi - A one of a kind restaurant in Chennai

I was craving for an authentic restaurant food experience along with excellent service, ambience and fair price. I experienced them all at Annalakshmi.

Food was as good as home-cooked. Everything about this place was unique. We started off with a soup, followed by an array of breads, sides, dhals, south Indian specials and desserts. I would suggest going to this place with a big appetite to do justice to a display of exceptional, tasty dishes.