Monthly Archives: January 2013

Loss Weight for a Healthy & Active Life!

Weight Loss Tips

Weight has been an important part of our lives even before we are born and it continues to reveal its importance till we grow old. Keeping a check of your weight is mandatory to live a healthy life, and for this you may compare your height and weight to check how fit you are. If the result is not in your favor, you need to work things out to stay in shape.

Where is the Problem?

  • The current life style is leading more towards the problem of overweight than being underweight.
  • Usually people have too much body fat due to the excess intake of calories from foods and drinks than they burn through physical activity.
  • The unhealthy fat stored in the body not just hinders the way a person gets around and makes him lazy but also adds up the health risks like Cardiovascular Disease, Osteoarthritis, and Diabetes etc.
  • Fast food popularity in children has resulted in an increase in kid’s obesity count.
  • Less physical and outdoor activities have resulted in fat storage in our bodies.

How to Lose Weight
The answer to all this trouble is “Weight Loss” which is a test of your commitment, hard work, motivation and dedication. You need to be serious in your action of losing weight which does not mean crash diets and weigh loss pills but a simple combination of ‘exercise and controlled diet.’

Some Activity is better Than None
We are not asking for long park walks and hour long aerobic classes but the only requirement is MAKING A DIFFERNCE in your routine by:

  • Going for a physical activity like swimming, bowling, soccer for a replacement of a movie night out.
  • Taking stairs instead of the elevator and a little walk than opting for a taxi to cover short distance.

Healthy Intake:
This another element of staying fit. Body’s metabolism gets disturbed with unbalanced eating behavior and makes it harder to lose weight.

  • You need to reduce the amount of calories intake and burn the already existing fats.
  • Drop the sugar intake in your diet.
  • Try to eat fruits and green vegetables when you have inappropriate cravings.

Do Not Skip Meals
To lose weight fast people start missing their meals. This is not good for your health as there is no short cut to “Weight Loss”. Such meal skips may trim down your calorie intake for that time but the outcome will be leaving you hungrier soon after.

Avoid Mistakes

  • You may have water half an hour before meal but remember not to drink water after your meal.
  • Do not take diet pills and slimming capsules to reduce weight.
  • Avoid over exercise by hurting your muscles and focus on reduction of bad calories.

Healthy Alternative Chart

Instead of this

Try this

Caned juice

Fresh Juice

Whole milk

Skim milk

Regular cheese

Fat free cheese

Whole eggs

Egg whites

Cookies and biscuits

Whole wheat or high fiber biscuits

Microwave packet popcorn

Homemade open popcorn

Butter

Olive margarine or low calorie substitute

Jam and jelly

Diet jam

Oil / ghee

Olive oil

White Bread

Bran bread

White rice

Brown rice

Chips and snacks

Fruits and Salad

Fizzy Drinks

Water

Tea/Coffee

Green tea

Fried food

BBQ/Baked

Consistency of these efforts will bring a positive change and a healthy tomorrow. So let us pledge today that we will try staying positive, focused and keep our reasons and motivation close to our heart to get thinner as its better to lose pounds than losing health. So let’s share it with others to lose weight by motivating them.

Natural Homemade Remedies for Thyroid Dysfunction!

Homemade Remedies for Thyroid Dysfunction

Follow a Proper Diet for reducing the thyroid problems because Diet is a very vital part in proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Food that contains sugar, fats, preservatives and starch are not suited for thyroid patient and should be restricted. The diet of thyroid patient should include vegetables, fruits and whole-grains, multi-grains and sweet potatoes.

The refined carbohydrates present in bakery items like cakes, cookies and pastries should be avoided completely.

Vitamin A
Malfunctioning thyroid glands affect the eyesight at a tremendous rate so it is advisable to have vitamin A rich foods like pumpkins, mangoes and carrots (beta-carotene) for better functioning of thyroid gland.

Walnut
Walnuts are very nutritious as they are great source of monounsaturated fats , iodine and magnesium which helps in hormonal balance of a person suffering from thyroid disease.

Coconut Oil
Drink coconut milk made by adding 1 teaspoon of coconut oil into a glass of milk, for speedy recovery from thyroid problem.

Fluids
The patient should drink loads of fluids like water, soups and fresh juices, especially which are rich in selenium and zinc like oranges, cantaloupes, spinach, blackberries, figs, avocado and banana. juice diet is perfect for removal of waste and toxins from the body. It also helps to detox the body from harmful chemical and toxic build-up. It is recommended to start a fluid detox with proper advice from your health expert.

Rest and Relaxation
Rest is very important for thyroid patients because the fatigue can cause muscular pains and aches. Good relaxation is the key to recovery from this disease. Always take 8 hours of sleep daily for better health.
Breathing exercises and meditation also helps the immune system of a thyroid sufferer. One should take small breaks while at work to ensure optimum efficiency and proper relaxation.

Intake of Iodine
Have iodine in its organic form as it helps to balance the thyroid levels in the body. Best natural sources of iodine are cabbage, onions, garlic, pineapple, strawberries, iodized salt and watercress.

Avoid Emotional Stress
It is better to avoid emotional stress for a thyroid patient. By staying happy and not being nervous. Surround yourself with positive and happy people who urge you to do well in life.

Balance Estrogen Levels
To balance the thyroid hormones it’s better to take less estrogen promoting food items like dairy, on-organic meat, and also stop using birth control pills as estrogen slows down the functioning of thyroid glands. Estrogen imbalance is more common in women who can reduce it by eating fiber rich diet.

Pears
Pears are efficient in regulating hormonal level in the body. Take 4-5 pears daily for optimal thyroid functioning. Patient can also continue pear therapy for few months to see the noticeable results on a long run.

Avoid Canola oil
Canola oil should be avoided by the thyroid patient as it interfere with production of thyroid hormones.

Avoid Caffeine
Caffeine exacerbates symptoms experienced by the thyroid patient, which includes palpitations, tremors and sweating. So avoid coffee if, you are craving coffee, take herbal tea instead which is much better for your overall health.

Get regular Check ups
For better cure and control always, the patient should monitor his /her thyroid levels and should have regular check-ups to curb the thyroid problem fully.

Ginger Tea
During winter prepare ginger tea and drink as it helps in production of thyroid hormones.

Stay Warm
To handle the thyroid problem in a better manner, stay warm by drinking hot fluids and wearing warm clothing. With these natural cures the patient can easily bring the dysfunctional thyroid gland under control.

So let’s follow the above diet instructions that help to reducing the thyroid gland problem for a healthy and active life.

Winter Special Kitchen Cleaning Tips!

Winter is the season which makes staying at home more comfortable and family time becomes special. Its means a special care is to be taken with the cleaning of the house and kitchen which is a very important part of the house. During winters a stale and weird smell is produced which can sometimes be very annoying. Weather being dry at some places can cause cleaning of utensils very difficult. Many people worried regarding these winter cleaning problems. It is better to keep your kitchen clean and tidy always so that the cooking becomes easier and safer for your family. We compiled some Kitchen cleaning tips for winter.

Blender Cleaning
It is equally important to clean you blender before you make your drink. When you take your blender out and find an unpleasant smell especially during the winters, a quick an easy way to remove the smell is to blend some fruit peals (from the fruits you making your drink) with a little water for half a minute and throw it away. Your blender will be fresh like new! You can do the same trick when you need to clean it after the drink is made. Pour some water and liquid dish soap into the blender and blend for half a minute. Rinse it and you are done with the cleaning.

Refrigerator Cleaning
It is easy to clean the refrigerator just a day before you plan to go for the month’s grocery. This means most of the refrigerator is empty and you can save time. Put the frequently used winter items on the top shelf and other items back in the lower shelf, after you check their expiry dates. Mostly we store expired food items in our refrigerator which not just occupy space but also produce smell in the fridge. One way to keep your refrigerator smell free is to make sure that all spilled liquid is cleaned properly and placing a box of baking soda can help in removing bad odors from the refrigerator.

Microwave Cleaning
In Winters the use of microwave doubles because of the desire of warm food. This means sticky microwave interior with greasy stains. Kitchen cleaning tip for December regarding microwave is to place a half filled micro safe cup of water with 1 tsp. of lemon for about 2 to 3 minutes in the microwave. This will create steam and soften the stains which can than easily be removed with a sponge. Lemon will help in removing stains and will also leave a pleasant smell in the micro.

Cleaning overnight dishes
Dry greasy pots and pans are a nightmare to clean. Want a quick cleaning tip? Let me make your life easy with this brilliant idea. Mix Vinegar with cream of tartar or potassium bitartrate and put in the dirty dishes and pans. Let it rest for a few minutes and then you can rinse and clean your pots. One special tip for cleaning a pot with rice leftovers is to pour water in the unclean dish and place it on the stove. Let it boil! This will make the rice on the pot soft and easy to clean.

Disinfect kitchen in December
Germs and infections are very active during winters. It is essential to keep your house and kitchen clean and disinfected. One quick and easy way to do this is by making a spray of vinegar mixed with water in equal quantity. Everyday spraying the mixture on the germ infected areas like kitchen counters, door knobs, sink etc. can help in keeping your kitchen safe and healthy during winter.

Stains from the Stove
Cleaning winter stains from the stove, oven and counters can be very easy. Just take some warm water and mix liquid detergent with it. Now soak your sponge and pour water on the unclean area. Leave it for a few minutes and then swipe away the stains.

Remember! Cleanliness is very important. Taking special care can keep you and your family safe and healthy. Do share with us your views on the article and also add your kitchen cleaning tips for December in the comment section to benefit our readers.

99 Perfect Picnic Menu Ideas!

Picnic MenuPicnics are always fun and a chance to spend some unforgettable time away from home with your friends and family. Nowadays picnics have become more luxurious and people are no longer relying on sandwiches and drinks for the picnic menu. Perfect picnic menu is preset keeping in mind the place, weight, preparation time, quantity, weather and crowd as there should be something for everyone to enjoy.

Barbeque, grilling, live cooking and table full of food is the new trend. Keeping in mind all the considerate factors we compiled 99 perfect picnic menu ideas for starters, main dishes, desserts and drinks.

Snacks and starters for a perfect picnic menu

Picnic means fun with a lot of games and energy consumption. This means you need to keep some ready to eat snacks and a few appetizers to munch on the way.

1. Chips
2. Butter Popcorns
3. Biscuits
4. Sweet buns
5. Nachos with cheese dips
6. Vegetable dips
7. Chicken spread sandwiches
8. Nuggets
9. Deviled eggs
10. Mashed potato with soup sticks
11. Boiled eggs
12. Vegetable Marconi
13. Potato balls
14. Garlic bread with cheese
15. Vegetable Pakoray
16. White Cheese Pakoray
17. Chana Chaat
18. French Fries
19. Caramel Popcorns
20. Patties
21. Chicken fingers
22. Roasted peanuts
23. Cutlets
24. Samosay
25. Fried chicken rolls

Make sure that the food is properly packed and only select the items that suit your picnic conditions. For example chicken spread in sandwiches contains mayonnaise which can change its taste if not stored in a cool dry place.

Special picnic salad menu

The trend of eating healthy has encouraged the addition of different types of easily prepared salads in the picnic menu. Here is a list of some easy picnic salad recipes which can be prepared in no time and are very appetizing as well.

26. Potato Salad
27. Mix fruit salad
28. Apple and macaroni salad
29. Green mix salad
30. Russian salad
31. Crunchy vegetable and bean salad
32. Simple cucumber, onion and lettuce platter
33. Cold chicken and bean Salad

Try to take separate ingredients and make a fresh salad just before you wish to eat but if you will not have such facilities and wish to save time and hassle at the picnic than prepare the salad and allow it to cool in the refrigerator for some time so that it can stay fresh for long. Place your salad bowl in a cooling bag or icebox if possible.

Perfect picnic sandwich ideas

Sandwiches are easy to eat, quickly prepared and loved by everyone. Picnics are incomplete without sandwiches.

34. Egg sandwich
35. Vegetable sandwich
36. Pinwheel sandwich
37. Cucumber sandwich
38. Grilled chicken sandwich
39. Chicken sandwich
40. Cold sandwich
41. Cheese sandwich
42. Club sandwich
43. Deli line sandwiches
44. Pizza sandwich
45. Kabab sandwich
46. Bran bread sandwich
47. Peanut butter sandwiches
48. Healthy salad sandwich
49. Home spread sandwich (only in winters)
50. Mexican sandwich
51. Shami kabab sandwich
52. Corn Soup (best served in winters)

Main dish ideas for a perfect picnic

Now comes the main part of your picnic menu which should be easy to prepare, takes less preparation time while being nutritious and tasty at the same time. Presentation counts a lot! Give your dish a creative touch and take along some simple garnish.

53. Mini Burgers
54. Biryani
55. Pizza
56. Roasted chicken
57. Club sandwiches
58. Shami kabab
59. Grilled chicken
60. Chicken handi
61. BBQ fish
62. BBQ tikka
63. BBQ Beef boti with green chutney
64. Chicken ginger
65. Fried drumsticks
66. Qeema
67. Cold lemon Chicken slices with bread
68. Seekh Kabab
69. Haleem (prepared before and packed properly)
70. Lahori grilled chicken

You can keep your main dishes half done or marinated before at home to make your work easy later on. A few main dishes like Shami kabab, lemon chicken slices and seekh kabab can be reused in sandwiches at tea time.

Desserts for a picnic

Individual serving is a little difficult at picnics and making efforts to keep the desserts cool till the end of the meal is not easy. Keeping in mind the availability of resources on a picnic day out, here are some simple dessert ideas which will surely satisfy your sweet tooth craving.

71. Fresh seasonal fruit like watermelon, mango and oranges
72. Canned pineapple (frozen)
73. Chocolate bars
74. Candies and marshmallow
75. Simple Cupcakes (without cream)
76. Brownies
77. Gulab Jamun (avoid sugar syrup)
78. Jalebi
79. Glazed doughnuts
80. Egg or rice pudding (Only if the weather is cool)
81. Chocolate biscuits served with dips

The best dessert to be served on picnics is fresh sliced fruit. Cupcakes or brownies can be easy to serve and you can prepare them a day before too.

Ideas for picnic drinks

Drinks are always a very important part of picnic menu especially in summers. Don’t forget to keep a lot of thirst-quenchers as usually the demand of drinks is more.

82. Rooh afza
83. Squashes
84. Lemonade
85. Namkeen Lassi
86. Sweet lassi
87. Ice tea
88. Green tea
89. Canned juice
90. Icy water
91. Fruit punch
92. Tea
93. Coffee
94. Fizzy drinks
95. Lemon punch
96. Energy drinks
97. Watermelon cooler
98. Mint tea
99. Soft drinks

Don’t forget to carry sufficient ice cubes to serve your drinks cold. Keep colorful disposable glasses and cups to make the serving easy. I suggest that the picnic menu should be kept simple so that you can enjoy with others rather than being busy all the time in food preparation.

Now you can easily make your own perfect menu by selecting your favorite combinations from the above compilation of 99 perfect picnic menu ideas.

Makhana ( Phool Makhana/ Lotus seeds)!

Makhana, Phool Makhana, Foxnut, lotus seeds, Gorgon nut,Euryale Ferox different names with multiple health benefits.
This is a native Asian water plant and is mainly cultivated for its edible seeds. They look really beautiful! Almost like popcorn.
It is a highly nutritious, fully organic non-cereal food, which is extensively grown in the stagnant water of wetlands, tanks, ponds lakes and ditches.
For geographical and climatic reason Bihar is the heaven for Makhana Production. Around 63% of the total Makhana production comes from Bihar. Makhana is superior to dry fruits such as almonds, walnut, coconut and cashewnut in term of sugar, protein, ascorbic acid and phenol content.
Nutritive value of Makhana or Gorgon Nut

100 gm makhana contains 350kcal, 9.7gm easily digestible protein, 77gm carbohydrate, 12.8gm moisture, 0.1gm fat, 90mg phosphorus & 1.4mg iron.
Health benefits
1. Makhana helps in Cardiac Protection.
2. It helps in building action in dysentery, frequent urination.
3. Makhana is anti-oxidant.
4. It is digestive for all age groups.  Due to its astringent property, it is relieves one from diarrhea and helps improve appetite.
5. 25 gram makhana a day means a healthy food/diet for the whole family.

6. Makhana regulates blood pressure, relieves numbness and aching near waist and knees.
7. It is suitable for arthritis, impotence and permature aging .
8.They are sweet to neutral in nature. They help to detoxify the spleen, reinforce the kidneys and nourish the blood.
9. It can also treat insomnia, palpitations and irritability.
10. It is also recommanded for the women during pregnancy and post natal weaknesses.

FOOD PREPARATION

The seeds (Makhana // Fox nut) can be eaten raw, cooked roasted or fried. In India, we roast it & add spices. It is much much better than popcorn!

Makhana can be consumed as dry fruit snacks by roasting . The popped seeds of Makhana can be roasted  & sprinkled with spices on it which proves a tastier, hygienic and digestive health snacks. Homemade roasted makhana can help kids get rid of the junk chips.

Makhana Kheer – made of makhana is a tasty n healthy. It can be used in Pudding and other milk based sweets etc.
Dal Makhani & vegetable curries prove delicious when makhana is spread for taste and thickening object.
Makhana raita is very tastier and it is digestive in nature.
Makhana pulav can also be tried.

Palak makhana again is healthy and tasty.

 PUJA & HAVAN

Being the GOD’s FOOD, makhana is used in all the worshipping ceremonies , puja, during fast, hawan due to its heavenly nature.
So, what are you waiting for? Go get Makhana today!