It’s been my lifelong quest…to find the secret of how to to dine non-stop gourmet and yet stay healthy. To continue to enjoy all tastes and flavours, to be able to digest it all and then go back for more. I wrote a weekly health column for a national daily for fifteen years. Produced, scripted, directed, presented 52 episodes of a health show on TV and through it all spent lots of time with doctors, specialists, ayurvedacharyas, nutritionists and more. And it was a common consensus, the source of health and energy was the digestive system. And to keep this system working in top form, it was essential to eat healthy (of course) but also to have probiotics. Not too fond of popping pills (even if they are probiotics in a pill) I was thrilled to find the answer. Right here. In Chennai. A home-made solution…Read on to know more
DID YOU KNOW?
Of course, we all know about probiotics and how essential they are to supply the much needed good bacteria into the system. But did you know…?
They have positive effects on the body like improving immunity, detoxifying the system, reducing inflammation, improving digestion, and providing the body with bio- available nutrients, vitamins and enzymes? Energy improves, stress, joint pains, allergies reduce?
Did you know that probiotics are found in delicious edible drinkable forms?
Ginger ale, Kombucha, Milk Kefir, Beet Kvass, Sauerkraut, Korean Kimchi, Hummus to name some.
And here’s the good news, these yummies are being made at home, right here in Chennai by the entrepreneurial Abha Appasamy “I started this for our own family to keep them in good health and we found that we were not catching colds and infections as long as we were taking them”. She explains.
that ginger ale is her latest and most popular product, and has had dramatic effects on some of her friends’ digestive issues. It is fermented with the natural bacteria present in organic ginger.
Abha’s Probiotics includes traditional fermented foods and drinks that have originated in countries around the world and
She personally make all the products and bottle them too to ensure high quality and food safety.
She ensures that all her products are 100% vegetarian and vegan (except for milk kefir.. )Natural, with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
and made from organic ingredients bought from reliable sources ( not exposed to chemical fertilizers, pesticides or hormones.)
All packaged in eco-friendly, recyclable glass bottles too.
Lets raise a toast with a glass of probiotic ginger ale!
email@example.com WhatsApp: 9962575684
If you love to munch and snack…but feel the need to do so healthily then Pratima Manikandan’s ingenious bars and crackers are the answer, as her quinoa Digestive Biscuits and Naan Khatai.
Go for the energy bars, made of natural sugars with a low glycemic index… made of seeds, nuts and dryfruits.
Energy Bars made of Millet and walnut seeds, nuts, berries, millets and natural sugars to bring together a nutritious snack on the go. Ask for Millet and Orange,
Vanilla and cinnamon flavors. All sweetened with the super healthy dates.
I love biting into the wafer thin, savory seed crackers made entirely of seeds and nuts.
That theyre a powerhouse of Omega 3 and 6 is a bonus.
Naan Khatai, made of wheat flour and brown sugar make them extra healthy and thankfully extra yummy too. Quinoa Digestive Biscuits- Packed with the essential amino acids are a must try.
A-218, Bhaggyam Urban Ville,
Industrial Estate Road,
ph: 7358306633/044 48536641
WHATSHOT HOME-BAKER TASTING SESSIONS
I maybe traveling the world but I always circle back to Chennai. Ive been flying in from Mumbai and setting up “whats hot tasting sessions” past 15 years. And with each session I get even more impressed
Infact, in EACH AND EVERY COLUMN there is a local “Foodline” with the latest on Chennai’s home catering and baking as my Chennai based assistant Anjali keeps a tab and has been doing so for over 15 years. We held the last one in ITC Grand Chola , which is where I tasted the probiotics and seedcrackers made by Abha and Prathima. Should you wish to take part in the next whatshot tasting session please mail firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Deliciously exciting news! I’m getting definitive, scientific advice on what I should eat to lose weight, to detox, to be healthy. It’s based on hardcore scientific genetic research. Nutrigenomics cracks the connection between diet and health and ensures that everyone benefits from the genomic revolution. And all it takes is a saliva test. And that simply cracks the genetic code.
Spearheading this is renowned Biotechnologist Dr Vice Soljan of Nutrigenext Sàrl. He’s based in Switzerland but I’m fortunate to meet him in Dubai, after the Master Class given by him at Faarah Mehta’s amazing Maison Imperiale educational academy for adults.
And in the photograph, the food they are holding are what Faarah should eat to reach optimal health. Through that one simple saliva test for her genetic profile she has learnt what to eat and what exercises to do, simply superb and superbly simple.
Three very delicious reasons are pumping up my adrenalin: the hot, fiery chillies of Peru, the healthy quinoa here, and now that I’m back in Chennai… our very own “Whats Hot Tasting session” yesterday.
DELICIOUS AND NUTRITIOUS
I’ve always loved the nutty flavour and texture of Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah). Most people call it a grain, but it’s actually a seed — grown more than 7000 years ago in the Andes Mountains. And it is in Peru that I get to know it in all it’s glory. Did you know that it’s the same family as beetroots and spinach? Enlightening me on this is the well informed chef Wilfred Santana Dass and the everhelpful Ana C Vidal.
Chef Wilfred Das, a Malaysian by birth has not only worked for Sultan of Brunei, Sheikh of Dubai, cooked for Kings and queens and Michael Jackson, but now as executive chef of Lima’s stylish and sprawling Westin is fully conversant with Peruvian cuisine. Here, I trip out on his 777″SuperFoodsRx, an amazing menu created together with doctors and nutritionists; antioxidant rich and naturally low in calories.I love the fact that quinoa has the highest protein content (amongst all grains and seeds) it is also rich in fiber and vitamins, minerals and iron. Here’s the best part, it is easy to digest and is gluten free.
Chef Das shares his tips on cooking quinoa. It’s like cooking rice, Don’t throw away the water, after soaking it, reduce the water in the cooking pot. He also recommends soaking it overnight (1 cup quinoa in 3 cups water).
It is on the way to the Machu Picchu, in the Sacred valley that I am thrilled to learn all about Peruvian gastronomy and the amazing chillies that sparkle it. All this in the sprawling organic garden of the beautiful “hunting lodge”-style Tambo Del Inka, set in extensive grounds beside the Urubamba River, amid the
Inca terraces, valleys and rivers and Inca ruins. I visit the ancient salt mines at Maras (world famous Maras salt) but most of all it’s chef Victor Alvarez’s cooking and the sharing of his extensive knowledge of Peruvian cuisine that dazzles. The brilliant young chef makes the time to explain the basic of Peruvian bio diversity. The intense fragrance and tastes of herbs, from huacatay ( its a cross between cilantro and rosemary) or Munya to the widely used tree tomato and avocado. Fascinating colors and flavours of chillies. The Aji Amarillo (pronounced Ahi Amariyyo) the most commonly used deep orange colored has a searing, clear pungency. The Aji Panca is used almost daily for making aji sauces, to flavor most fish dishes, and is popular as a powder to sprinkle over pizza (like oregano). Its the Aji Limo which is the hottest and is used in the making of ceviches. There are a huge number of chillies like the fat round plump Aji Rocoto to the slim, slender Aji Limo. They shine and gleam and sparkle our food with their flavour and heat.
A request. Please take a look at the photograph I’ve shot in the kitchen of this state of the art, medical spa. What you see being extruded from the machine is zucchini and it will be used to make “spaghetti”. And here’s the most crucial part, along with the brilliant chef Karsten Wolf is the highly qualified and experienced Doctor Benedetto Reisch the dynamic medical Director of the world famous Lanserhof. And this is exactly how the food and the recipes have evolved here…70 chefs and as many doctors did scientific research together and created the recipes. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that, nowadays, there are as many theories about which foods to eat as there are foods. Confusion, confounded. Whats good one day is declared to be a villain the next day.
Having blazed trails for thirty years, Lanserhof is Europe‘s leading centre for regeneration and preventive medicine. Lanserhof medical spa, the oasis of regeneration is perched on the mountainside overlooking meadows, forest and Lake Tegernsee.
LANS MED CONCEPT
1. Rest: Recovery and regeneration of the digestive system
2. Cleansing: Detoxifying and de-acidification of the body
3. Training: Training to achieve a change in lifestyle
4. Substitution: Individual supplementation with vital substances
It’s high energy, it’s easily digested, good health and pleasures of the palate are not mutually exclusive. Energy Cuisine reflects the state-of-the-art research findings of nutritional science, yet still places great emphasis on regional, organic and fresh produce cooked in gentle, product protecting ways.
Burdening the system in the evening is avoided, so it results in sound sleep. Reduced allergies, since fresh produce is used. It results in Healthy blood pressure and of course Enjoyment – without a guilty conscience.
Our enzymes (protein molecules that control metabolism) are very active Cortisone, adrenaline and thyroid hormones all attain their highest levels during these hours. So what you eat during this period is assimilated really well. Breakfast is the only meal at which heightened carbohydrate consumption does not cause you to put on weight. Give your body high value protein, vitamins and minerals from fresh fruit and vegetables in the morning. Lunch between 12 and 1,30 pm and dinner before 6,30pm is recommended.
It is advisable to drink about 2 liters of water daily. However for thirty minutes before and after eating, one should not drink. Water dilutes the stomach’s digestive juices and can lead to chronic digestive problems.
You’ll be amazed at the difference eating slowly and mindfully can make. This is one of the most important principles. Not only do you taste each and every ingredient and enjoy it but you digest it all and have a good digestion and great energy.
The chef has very generously shared some of his amazing energy cuisine recipes. Last fortnight, I was flooded with requests for the Agar agar and detox biryani recipe. Sorry for the delay in sending them to you will do so in the next few days. Should you need Energy cuisine recipes, please instagram, tweet @rashmiudaysingh email firstname.lastname@example.org
FOOD AND FITNESS
It’s the ultimate dream: to love food, enjoy it, and still remain fit and healthy. For most of us, that’s what it remains: a dream. It should be doubly difficult if you earn your daily bread through eating. There is however, a living paradox—author, columnist and food writer Rashmi Uday Singh, who manages to stay fit and svelte. She explains how Even the most intelligent and perceptive often remark to me: “You don’t look like a food critic.”
What these refined gentlemen and ladies mean is that I don’t hog mindlessly and that I don’t live up to their medieval, preconceived notion of a food critic. According to them, it’s blasphemy not to eat and drink to the exclusion of everything else. I’d only like to ask, are all wine-tasters alcoholics? And why on earth I do have to look like a stuffed samosa to live up to anyone’s idea of what a food critic should look like? Why do I have to be obese and suffering from the after-effects of too much eating and drinking, just to prove that I eat for a living? The truth of the matter is that I am passionate about food. It excites me! I cannot resist sinful desserts, ad I am a chocoholic, the darkest, most handsome love of mylife. I love restaurants and eat out all the time. However, being fit and being able to respond with all my senses to food, is equally important to me. And having scripted, directed, produced and anchored a weekly TV show, Health Today, I have been fortunate enough to find a way to devote myself to my two passions. The weekly show was telecast for one year and researched it for over two years. I had the opportunity to interview and spend time with brilliant experts in the medical field. I questioned them relentlessly, chewed on every single answer they gave and digested it. Nutritionists, heart specialists, ayurvedacharyas, oncologists, naturopaths, homeopaths …my cameras recorded every single nuance, be it the “Vatta Pacifying diet” of Deepak Chopra in Los Angeles or the “heart smart” diet of Dr. Naresh Trehan. Banglores Naturopathy Clinic supplied as many relevant answers as the Apollo Hospital in Chennai. Dr. Praful Desai of Tata Memorial explained how diet can actually prevent cancer, while nutritionists explained how food can lower stress levels. What emerged was something basic and fundamental. When some wise guy said “make your vacation”, he definitely had me in mind.
Here are some of my tried and tasted and tested tips:
It’s all about the appetite mechanism: Okay, so you know it all, but it still might help to read what follows. Because it is only when one understands appetite mechanism that one realises that bad eating habits don’t just mean calorific and junk food but also being out of harmony with the way you eat. Ever wondered why eating and emotions are linked? Our appetite is coordinated in an area called the hypothalamus and it is this area, which controls a lot of our emotions. The “feeding” centre is divided into “hunger” and “fullness” centers. The number of signals reaching these centers dictate whether you feel hungry or full. It’s important to feel pleasantly full after a meal, because you are less likely to binge in between. Basically, you need to get tuned in to the ‘satiety’ value of eating. These ‘satiety’ signals are sent back in different stages.
Chewing: Nobody ever told e why should I chew my food well and slowly. Sure, it helps in the production of saliva and digestion, but what it also does is send signals of satiety to the brain. So, the more you chew, the more time you take over eating, the greater the perception of satiety. This is because within the jaw are stretch receptors which respond when you chew.
Exciting the taste buds: Foods that turn you on are called ‘organoleptic’. And the great news is that organoleptic foods [foods which smell, look, taste and feel good in the mouth] are actually good for you. They register satisfaction quicker and they increase the production of saliva and digestive juices. If you have exciting flavours, varying temperatures and textures within a meal, your mouth has a far greater opportunity to send satiety signals.
Lifting the arm: It may sound really strange, but the more you lift you arm to eat, the greater will be the filling of fullness. That’s because you give your brain the time and the chance to register those signals.
Trust your stomach: Within the stomach wall are stretch –receptors which send signals of fullness to your brain when there is food in your stomach. When you eat sugary, refined or fatty food they pass through your stomach quickly and satiety signals are not sent back to the brain. So, you tend to eat a lot more than you actually need to. But, when you eat high-fibre food (fruits, veggies, whole grains) they stay in the stomach longer and send satiety signals to the brain. So, while I taste almost everything, it’s the high-fibre food that I concentrate on.
Food and mood: It might help to know that it’s not just alchohol which is a mood-altering substance. Our everyday food does affect our moods too. Within the brain, chemicals help transmit messages from one nerve cell to another. There are two such substances known as endorphins, which affect our moods—serotonin and norepinephrine. The body makes these particular endorphins from the food we eat and therefore, we can, to a certain extent raise the level of these substances in the brain by eating specific foods. The main source of these endorphins is sugary carbohydrate-rich food. This explains why many of us feel happier when we eat chocolates and sweets. However the problem with eating too much of these is that sugary foods are absorbed rapidly into the blood. And though this causes a serotonin rush, it is broken down rapidly and eventually leads to a drop in blood sugar and endorphin levels. So, such foods can leave you feeling even lower than before. On the other hand, natural sugars give you a steady high. Feeling low and depressed is also linked to deficiencies in vitamins and minerals and therefore, to improper eating. A huge database of research points in the direction of eating right and light. So, for the sake of your mood, it is best to stick to natural sugars and natural starches. Natural sugar are found in fruits and veggies (as opposed to refined sugars in honey, cakes etc.) and natural starches occur in wholegrains, brown rice, beans, fruits and veggies (as opposed to refined starches in white brad, pastas etc.). these natural foods keep you clear-eyed and energetic. The reason? They release energy at a slower steadier pace, do not slow down your metabolism and and so don’t end up channelising the blood supply away from your brain. In other words, they keep you feeling fresh and in a good mood. Naturally!
Helpful tips on eating the right way
Position of eating: slouching is bad idea. Sitting upright helps. It places your stomach in a position where gravity helps rather than hinders.
Relax while eating: Digestion requires the flow of blood to your stomach but when your are under stress or upset, the stress hormones in your blood make much of the blood stream go to your limbs, this hinders digestion.
Your environment is important: If you eat live and treat your meals as just a fuel-stop-over then you may actually be hindering you health. You must value meal times as enjoyable pastimes. I make it a point to picnic, to set up candlelight dinners, to have interesting company, to eat with one’s love and of course, to eat in restaurants. All these environments relax me amd make my digestive juices flow, thereby helping swiftly and effortlessly digest all that I have eaten.
Who wants to kiss and ashtray?: Smoking kills…the tastebuds. Moreover, cigarettes discolour your nails and lips and ages you skin. And anyway, who wants to kiss an ashtray?
Drinking plenty of water: I begin my day and end it with warm water. Deepak Chopra advises sipping hot water through the day if you want to lose weight and flush out toxins.
Moderation is the name of the game: Moderation may be a boring word, but it works. You can taste everything, relish it, enjoy it and do so as intensely and passionately for the rest of your life. It’s not about denial and fanaticism, it is about celebrating food and savouring it in all its delicious forms. It is about enjoying it!
There is plenty more to say, but even plenty more to learn as I eat my way through life. As I said before, I eat for a living and have a huge appetite for finding out more ways and means of eating my way to more health and fitness.