Monthly Archives: April, 2013

Summer Smoothies – Cool, Simple and Nutritious

The heat is getting to all of us here and we supposedly haven’t even hit peak temperatures! Eating anything other than ice-cream or curd rice is an effort and cooking a meal is even more tiring, so how do we keep ourselves hydrated while ensuring that we get our daily nutrition?

The simple answer is a tall, cool and refreshing smoothie, that appeals to both the old and the young. Have it cool, chilled or frozen; sweet, sour or with a hint of spice. Either way these delicious recipes will keep you coming back for more.

Nutty Summer Harvest Smoothie (Serving: 2 glasses)

A summer addition, that will have you raiding the fruit shops.

Ingredients:

Freshly squeezed pomegranate juice – 1 cup

Musk melon or any other yellowish sweet melon – 1 small melon or 1/2 a medium sized melon

Almonds – 12 – 15 nuts

Freshly squeezed lime juice – 1 or 2 lemons (depending on personal taste)

Fresh ginger – 1 inch piece 

Honey or Palm Sugar – 1 large tbsp

Mint leaves to garnish

Ice cubes – 1/2 cup (optional)

Method:

Combine all the ingredients and blend till smooth.

Pour into a tall glass, top with a sprig of mint and enjoy.

Energy in A Glass (Serving: 2 glasses)

For those days when you have a lot on your plate and no time to stop for a meal.

Ingredients:

Plain cocoa powder – 2 tbsp + a dash to garnish

Flaxseed powder – 2 tbsp

De-seeded dates – 5 large

Banana – 2 medium or one large (frozen tastes the best)

Coconut milk – 1 cup

Method:

Peel the bananas.

Combine all the ingredients and blend, adding cold water if necessary, till the liquid is smooth and at a drinkable consistency.

Add ice to a glass, if required. Pour the smoothie into the glass, sprinkle cocoa powder on top and enjoy.

About the Author:

Niranjani is an entrepreneur and blogger who believes that good quality, affordable healthcare should be available to all. She occasionally puffs and pants her way through a 10k race to feel fit, despite her chaotic life.

Photo Credit: Image 1Image 2

Copyright 2013 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

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Of Brunches and Easter Bunnies….

It’s that time of the year again…. redolent of great summer brunches, long lazy days by the pool, sugary drinks, ice cream and of course chocolate bunnies and eggs. The heat is just setting in, and we are getting to the point of power cuts, restless sweat drenched nights and the resulting inertia in the morning that makes waking up such a chore, and working out close to unthinkable.

Add to that the additional pressures that summer brings. The need for a flat tummy that looks good in a swim suit, and toned arms that enable one to sport sleeveless tops. All of which have to be juggled with the mounting pressures of children who are on holiday, and need to be kept entertained and away from mischief. Is it any wonder that tempers are frazzled beyond belief? This kind of pressure is enough to make a normal human being turn to food, if not food and drink, and that’s when the trouble starts.

Perhaps one of the most common ways of coping with stress and the pressure of life is by turning to food for comfort. On the face of it, it’s not so bad. A few extra cookies once a week will hardly make any difference to your waist line, and if you restrict that binge to once a month, it will not affect you at all.

Now that we have used that dreaded “B” word, and brought it out in the open, maybe we should discuss it threadbare. A binge is when a person consumes 4-5 times the food that he or she normally would eat in a relatively short span of time. Say two hours? Typically the food that one consumes when binging is high fat and high sugar. You would have to be a rabbit to binge on carrots, right? Now as long as the binge is restricted to one meal once a week or better still once a month, you won’t have a problem. Acknowledge it as a treat that you deserve for being so disciplined for the rest of the week or month. Savour every mouthful of the food, don’t feel guilty about it, and just go back to your normal healthy diet from the next meal. If all of us could do that, it would be perfect.

Unfortunately in today’s pressure cooker environment, those extra cookies or that slab of chocolate become a kind of crutch that you can’t do without, and over a period of time they become a habit. Of course it starts with a cookie with a cup of tea when you are stressed, and slowly that one cookie is just not enough. That is simply because, when you eat a high sugar/high fat treat, it sends the blood sugar soaring, which accounts for the feel good factor; only you come down from that high fairly rapidly since the body counters this influx of sugar by releasing more insulin to metabolise it, which is what causes that rather quick slump that you feel. Of course you counter it by eating more cookies, which only makes the whole situation worse.

The best way to combat stress is by exercising it away. Walking, dancing, cleaning the cupboard or baking a cake. By the time you have whisked all your frustration into those poor eggs, you are bound to feel better and more than ready to share the cake with the family, limiting yourself to a tiny bit.

If you are one of us who feels that the only way to fight stress is to eat, then maybe you should have a fruit, or a salad and a sandwich with a glass of milk. Actually, what would be really good for you would be the handful of carrots that you stole from the Easter Bunny.

About the author:

Sunitha Srinivasan has qualified with the National Association of Fitness Certification in the USA as a Lifestyle Consultant and Resistance Trainer. She focuses on helping people with their struggle to create a balanced and healthy lifestyle,  given the time constraints and stress present in today’s world.
She also conducts workshops on Wellness, Stress Management and Work-Life balance.
She can be reached at Sunitha@sans-souci.in

Photo Credit: Image 1

Copyright 2013 (c) Primex Scans and Labs. Please do not reproduce this article in its entirety without permission. Alternatively, a link to this URL would be appreciated.

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Demystifying health, healthcare and the secrets of a healthy lifestyle