Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My guest post on www.thealternative.in

My guest post was published on www.thealternative.in yesterday. Do take a look on their homepage for the article titled "15 replacements to make your diet healthy" or go to http://thealternative.in/environment/15-replacements-to-make-your-diet-healthy/


Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Top Six Seeds for Good Health


Seeds may be tiny but they are packed with nutrients like protein, fiber, iron, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. They are now being recognized as a very nutritious snack with an added benefit of being low in calories. A recent article in Times of India also reinforces this fact. 

It is best recommended that seeds be consumed in their raw natural form. For gaining maximum nutrition, try and avoid roasting or cooking any seeds. Here is our list of the top 6 healthiest seeds you should add to your diet (in no particular order):

Sunflower Seeds are rich in Vitamin E which can help the circulatory system function perform better. It also has a calming effect on your brain because of high levels of tryptophan which creates a relaxing effect. Sunflower seeds are also the perfect phytochemical-rich seeds for those of us looking to lose weight, as they promote healthy digestion and increase fiber intake. These seeds are extremely rich in folate, a very important nutrient for women. They are packed full of good fats, antioxidant-rich Vitamin E, selemium and copper, all crucial elements in preventing heart disease, cancer and other forms of cellular damage. 

Pumpkin seeds have properties that help alleviate inflammation without any side effects. Some  scientific studies have shown that the components of pumpkin seeds may stop the triggering of cancerous behavior in male prostate cells. It has properties which alleviate depression without any side effects that is caused by medications. These seeds are also high in omega-3 fatty acids and zinc, two important nutrients that may play a role in warding off inflammation, arthritis and osteoporosis. Finally, pumpkin seeds are high in phytosterols, plant components that aid in keeping stable levels of cholesterol, enhanced immune response, as well as cancer-fighting attributes. 

Sesame Seeds are considered most mineral-rich foods in the world. Traditional societies have touted the positive benefits of this seed for thousands of years. They are rich in calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, vitamins, and fiber. Sesame seeds are unique in their chemical structure. Possessing important cholesterol-fighting fibers known as lignans, studies show that these seeds can lower blood pressure, as well as protect the liver from damage. Sesame seeds also may help prevent arthritis, asthma, migraine headaches, menopause, osteoporosis and PMS.

Watermelon seeds are often not eaten along with the fruit. In fact, sun dried watermelon seeds are very popular. It contains iron, potassium, vitamins, fats and calories which is important for everyday nutrition. Watermelon seeds should be chewed before swallowing if its nutritional content is desired.

Chia Seeds are packed full of fiber, protein, nutrient oils, various antioxidants and even calcium. These seeds are extremely tiny, yet extremely potent. Studies show that chia seeds stabilize the blood sugar, lower our risks for cardiovascular disease, as well as assist weight loss. These amazing little seeds are an excellent source of high-quality fats, as they are made up of a whopping 34% pure omega-3 oils. Infact, according to this abc.com article, they are the absolute best source of omega three fats on the market, hands down, when you consider the ratio of omega three to omega six.

Flax Seeds are high in Omega-3, fiber and phytochemicals (anitoxidants). Flax seed is very low in carbohydrates making it ideal for people who want to limit starches and sugars. Due to high fiber content and healthy fat, it is used for weight loss and maintenance. Flax seeds can  be eaten by sprinkling on top of salads,  ground in puddings, milk shakes or also as is. However, it is not recommended to have more than 2-3 tsp per day due to its laxative effects being rich in fiber content. Once ground for consumption, these seeds becomes rancid fast so need to be consumed within a few hours.  

Visit our website to browse the variety of seeds available. You can buy them individually or pick our unique blend of most of these seeds to gain the maximum advantage. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Announcing various new brands and categories on www.shophealthy.in

www.shophealthy.in is pleased to announce the addition of brand new categories of products besides Kitchen items such as Beauty, Ready to Eat, Seeds, Dry Fruits and products for various other health conditions such as Diabetes, Weight Loss, Heart Health, Health Supplements, General Wellness / Immunity  and a lot more. Do take a look at the refreshed e-store with a plethora of new brands and products that have recently been added. 

Also hurry to avail the latest offer of 10% of on Vedantika Herbals Food & Beauty products! 

Vedantika Herbals is a certified herbals cosmetics and foods manufacturer. Their products are 100% natural and do not contain preservatives, colors or fragrances. Vedantika Herbals Food products include Instant Energy Drinks, Healthy Candies, Milk Shakes and Instant Soups. Our Beauty category includes their products including herbal shampoos, face wash, face packs etc. For a limited time only there is a 10% introductory promotion on all Vedantika's products. 

Visit our website and click on home page banner to see Vedantika's great products especially for you. We hope you enjoy them!



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

5+ A Day - Guest Post

Team shopHealthy.in would like to wish our customers, readers and well wishers a very happy and safe festival season! On this lovely Diwali festival full of lights and colour, what better way to remind people to fill their dinner plates with colour as well! Here's another guest post from Simran who had brought the yummy oatmeal and walnut cookies recipe to us last time around to give you inspiration and ideas on how to fill your food world with colour!

Simran writes:

Over the last few years, we (me and my family) have become conscious of what we have been eating. Its partly because of the need to eat healthy to stay fit in the long run and because of the increased awareness of what goes into the food we eat - at home and outside!

Do you know about 5+ A Day? It is the target of fruit and vegetable serves that you and your family should enjoy every day. The ideal target is 2 serves of fruit and 3 serves of vegetables.
But to make it well rounded you should try and select your 5 serves from each of the 5 major colour groups!

Fruits and veggies have a lot of nutrients and phytochemicals (pronounced fight-o-chemicals) that everyone needs for good health. Phytochemicals are also responsible for the bright colours in all the different fruits and veggies. There are 5 major colour groups. The main aim of eating the 'colour way' is to encourage eating from as many colours of the rainbow as possible!


Veggies for Pasta

Here are some examples to give you an idea of the 5 colour groups:

Red: Strawberries, tomato, red apples, red onions, red pepper, red skinned potato, red cabbage
Orange/Yellow: Carrot, sweet potato, pumpkin, melon, sweet corn, squash
White: Cauliflower, banana, pear, garlic, onion, potato, ginger, mushroom
Green: Spinach, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, kiwifruit, celery, lettuce, brussel sprouts
Blue/Purple: Blueberries, raisins, egg plant, red cabbage, beetroot


Orange and fennel salad

When you plan your daily menu, don't forget to include a range of colours! :)
So in that pasta throw in some red pepper, broccoli, onions and you've already covered 3 colours - easy isn't that!

Grab an apple or a banana or some raisins and you cover some more in the day.
Even with the veggies try cooking different colours every day - I know sounds tough, you must be thinking, with everything else now I need to think "What is the colour of my food??". To make it easy, when you shop for veggies, pick up different coloured ones and you will eventually cook and eat those!


Cucumber and black Garbanzo beans salad

Monday, October 22, 2012

Recipe - Oatmeal and Walnut Cookies - Guest Post

[Editor's Note: In my search for yummy and healthy recipes, I discovered that one of my blogger friends Simran is also into the same quest as me - a healthier lifestyle yet not compromising on taste. So sure enough, I had to ask her to do a guest post on this blog with her tips / suggestions / recipes etc. 

Today, I am happy to introduce you to Simran who is an engineer by degree, has worked in the IT industry and as a curator for an online marketplace. She is a book lover, an amateur photographer, a mother, a closet feminist, a blogger and a wannabe travelerShe blogs with gusto at Simz Corner 

So without further adieu, here is her post on a healthy recipe for oatmeal and walnut cookies.] 

I had been looking for a basic cookie recipe for a long time - the kind that you can tweak and add/modify. I got one from a friend recently and I tweaked it to add some of my own variants.


cookies-005.jpg
Pic courtesy Flickr Creative Commons License from here


Here is the most basic recipe -

1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg - you can make it eggless by adding some extra butter instead of the egg
1 tsp vanilla essence

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven at 180C for 15 minutes
  2. Melt butter and add the sugar to it. Whisk it with a hand whisk or an electric mixer
  3. Add the egg (if you are using it), followed by flour and baking powder. Mix it well with the whisk or a spatula
  4. Add the vanilla essence and mix
  5. Put a spoonful of batter spaced apart on a baking tray. The tray should be covered in baking paper or aluminium foil or greased with a lite butter spray.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 15 to 20 mins or till you see the crust golden brown at the edges. The centre might feel soft to touch, but when you let the cookie rest out of the oven for some time, it will firm up. 

Now the question was, how could I make this healthy with all the butter, sugar and flour! We all do need comfort food and something to satisfy that sweet tooth once in a while. I believe moderation is the key and excess/extreme of anything is bad. 

This is what I did to make it less-unhealthy ;)
  • I use un-bleached or whole wheat flour - makes stuff taste better!
  • Sugar - I use brown sugar or palm sugar - it gives them the nice brown colour - I love that. If you like the whiter/golden brown version you can use regular white sugar. Castor/powder sugar is better if you are using a hand whisk - it will mix easily with the butter.
  • I added some rolled oats - about 1/4 cup and reduced flour by that much.
  • I added a handful of roughly chopped/crushed walnuts (before the vanilla essence) to up the protein and fatty acid quotient.
  • I also added some milk - 2 table spoons because the mixture seemed dense - what that did is made the cookies spread out laterally when I baked them so space them out further on the baking tray if you add milk.

The cookies turned out great - crisp, buttery, oats and walnuts bringing in that extra crunch that I love!! Unfortunately I couldn't take any pictures during and after the process - thanks to a handful pre-schooler, hence the pic from Flickr. Will update the post with my pics, the next time I bake them.

Enjoy baking and do lemme know if you have any questions :) 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Recipe - Power Packed Smoothies


I got introduced to juicing (especially vegetable juices and fruits and vegetable blends) through Julia Indichova of the http://www.fertileheart.com fame. Ever since then, I have invested in a powerful juicer that can pretty much swallow whole apples, beets and pretty much anything you throw at it and result in a wholesome juice with pulp on the side. My take on juicing and how it helps is a story I will save for another post though. Today, I wanted to share another idea for a wholesome nutritious drink which we call a Smoothie.


The dictionary definition of a smoothie is essentially a thick beverage of fruit pureed in a blender with ice and milk, yogurt or juice. My definition though is slightly different. I make several changes to this basic recipe to make it nutritious and power packed.

Here's how:
  1. First I select a base. You can choose milk or yogurt or folks who are dairy intolerant can use water, coconut water or any other fresh un-sweetened fruit juice. 
  2. Then I pick a fruit as the flavor of choice such as mangoes, apples, bananas, etc. My daughter especially loves mangoes so she enjoys what I call a "power packed mango milkshake" during summers.  
  3. This is followed by adding a dose of nutrition through a natural health supplement  such as wheatgerm or wheatgrass powder or spirulina powder or moringa leaf powder or barley grass powder etc.  
  4. Then I add a boost of power by adding healthy seeds such as flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds or a blend of all of them
  5. Last but not the least, in go nuts such as almonds or walnuts for extra power. 
  6. Mind you - I do not use any refined sugar. The smoothie is sweet enough on its own if you use fresh fruit juice as the base. For milk or yogurt based smoothies, I use only natural sweeteners if at all (such as palm sugar or stevia).
  7. That's it - blend away and enjoy!
Here's another blogger who has a very nicely illustrated post on green smoothies if you are up for giving that a try next. This one has green leaves incorporated into it and sounds very tempting to me. I am going to venture into this next and let you all know how it goes. Here is her illustrated picture that gives you all these steps in such an easy to remember way...


So tell me - will you or did you give this a try? Or do you have a secret nutritious recipe of your own? Please do share - we'd love to hear!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Recipe - No Bake Energy Bites

As soon as I set eyes on the No Bake Energy Bites recipe on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it right away. This is a mix of health and chocolate goodness that my daughter has started comparing to the Ferrero Rocher brand of chocolates available in the market. Not without good reason coz it looks almost the same but is much healthier and tastier too if you make it right. Plus the recipe is so versatile that it can adapt pretty much anything you wish your child had but doesn't. Whats even better is that these energy balls are perfect for breakfast, snacks or even as my daughter agrees - dessert!

I have tried several variations at home which I have listed out after the original recipe:


Ingredients:
1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla (essence)

Method:
Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour (optional). Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1″ in diameter.)  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated. Makes about 20-25 balls.


My Substitutions & Variations:
This recipe like I said is super flexible and very substitution friendly :-) Here are some I have tried and the rest is upto your imagination and what you have at hand:

  • I have tried this with a little desi touch as well so for example, roasted some raisins in ghee, added deseeded dates (you can also try prunes) and cooled to room temperature. The dates become a binding agent along with honey.
  • If you don't have coconut flakes or don't prefer the taste (I know I don't), you can skip it altogether and substitute it with more of a different dry ingredient (such as oats or any other cereal you wish to add).
  • I have also made a batch including a variety of healthy seeds such as sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, melon seeds, sunflower seeds along with the ever so good flaxseed ofcourse.
  • For folks like me who do not prefer the taste of chocolate, you can substitute it with any nut butter (such as almond or peanut butter) or plain jaggery if you like.
  • I have also tried this with a whole lot of crushed unsalted dry fruits such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, figs, etc.
  • If you don't have chocolate chips, just take any chocolate bar you have at home and crush it into coarse powder.
These taste far better than the health bars available in the market and since they are home made, they are free of any preservatives or chemical agents. And they are so easy to make - no baking, microwaving or stove top cooking involved!

For more ideas or inspiration, you can see another fellow blogger who has also given this a try here. Enjoy!

Linking this to the "Made With Love" party over at Patty's blog.