Marie Forleo

I totally believe The Secret – the Universe grants us whatever we ask for….

One lazy weekend afternoon, I was alone at home relaxing and was flipping through channels only to find out nothing interesting to watch on TV. So took IPad and started browsing through YouTube videos. I stumbled upon this video link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvu_UGzz2Bs and instantly fell in love.

Anyways, I am working on my small startup company for couple of months and wasn’t sure whether I was doing it right but had a very strong vision and great passion.

I felt so much connected to her words and related to every aspect of her being.

Marie left her career and worked hard for passion exactly what I was doing.

She seemed extremely spiritual and she is a very grounded person. I adore her personality.
I always felt like doing 10 different things, many of my friends couldn’t relate to me. I always wanted to create a difference in this world through my presence and my passion. I absolutely believe in listening to the inner gut feeling and following the “intuition” that feels right.

“Clarity comes from engagement not thought….”

Basically, ideas should be acted upon. You wont know whether they will work or not till you try them. Most importantly the whole process of trying and failing will teach valuable life lessons.

Marie inspired me to think….

Now, I truly embrace the fact that I am extremely special, talented and gifted and I believe so are you…we owe this society, this planet our unique gifts. Marie emphasizes on  the fact that we have to share these special gifts with the world and if we don’t, we are stealing from those who need it the most….

Success for me is enjoying every step of this (business) journey and celebrate who I am becoming along way. Cherishing where I am going because I am here to make a difference in this world every moment by contributing in every possible way.

 

 

 

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Avocado – The fruit of the Kings !


So true
 …..
Sitting on a bar stool sipping the chilled dirty martini, so drained, dog-tired  from the day, you are trying to avoid a steady gaze of extremely handsome jaw dropping guy… Only thinking I wish I had eaten that extra piece of avocado in the morning.

Aphrodisiac it is – stimulates Sexual Desire
For the Aztecs, avocado was, “the fruit of the kings” and eaten as a luxurious aphrodisiac. The Aztecs also believed that avocado was the fertility fruit.

Treasure of Nutrients !!!
Among the twenty top fruits it ranks highest in lutein, vitamin E, glutathione, beta-sitosterol, folacin, fiber, potassium, and magnesium. Avocados act as a “nutrient booster” by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein in foods that are eaten with it.

Banana or Avocado ?
It is good source of vitamin K, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, copper, and contain more potassium than a medium banana. An avocado contains 877 grams of potassium vs. a banana has 470 grams and avocado has much less sugar!

Sooooo much FAT ??? But Good kind.
Avocados have fat content between 71 to 88% of their total calories, which is about 20 times the average for other fruits. A typical avocado contains 30 grams of fat but 20 grams of these fat are health-promoting monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid. 
Thus single 30 gram serving of avocado is better than any other popular snack.

How much ?
It is recommended to eat up to two servings (2 ounces) or 100-calories worth of avocados per day, which can help you meet your recommended daily fruit intake. Due to the avocado’s mono and polyunsaturated fat content, they’re a great substitution for foods rich in saturated fat.

Avocados have numerous health benefits
They improve cardiovascular health, help in blood sugar regulation. It has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Which one is right one?
A ripe, ready-to-eat avocado is slightly soft but should have no dark sunken spots or cracks. A firm avocado will ripen at room temperature within few days. As the fruit ripens, the skin will turn darker. Avocados should not be refrigerated until they are ripe. Once ripe, they can be kept refrigerated for up to a week.  Sprinkling the exposed surface(s) with lemon juice will help to prevent the browning.

Be Careful !!!!
Research has shown that the greatest concentration of carotenoids in avocado occurs in the dark green flesh that lies just beneath the skin. You don’t want to slice into that dark green portion any more than necessary when you are peeling an avocado.

More interesting ways of consumption….
Apart from adding avocados to sandwiches and salads or making popular guacamole, you can make Avocado shake and other recipes.

 

Fresh Vs. Frozen produce

Is frozen produce as good as fresh???? 

You Had a loooong exuasting day at work. Its already dark and biting cold out……
You want to reach home, get cozy and have a hot piping soup for dinner.
And what??? you remember… no grocery shopping over weekend because of harsh weather conditions…. so  no vegetables to add to soup … You decide to drive to the supermarket on your way back but in vain…. they hardly had anything left. Just the worn out, wilted leafy greens…. Now what???

Winter months in up North and Summer months down south make us struggle to get our fresh produce at reasonable rates. Most of the seasonal farmers’ market close during these peak winter and summer months, living us with hardly any options.

It is not unusual to prefer fresh produce over frozen.
Frozen foods are considered most unhealthy, chemically treated and flavorless and do not promote healthy eating habit.Until recently, I was very skeptic about frozen produce. Little research convinced me that frozen produce is not bad either rather it might be a great option.

In March 1998, Food and drug administration (FDA) indicated that frozen fruits and vegetables are equivalent to fresh product and may exceed the fresh product under certain circumstances.

Scientists have used flash freezing technique to freeze vegetables and fruits.
Clarence Birdseye invented flash freezing technique. He found out that preserving vegetable by rapidly freezing them at extremely cold temperatures retains its taste and turgor.This concept inspired massive frozen produce business.

In commercial processing, foods are flash frozen to maximize nutrient retention.
It also helps in keeping the food fresh and flavorful. Frozen vegetables are picked and frozen at peak of their ripeness retaining their nutrients and flavor. Before flash freezing, vegetables are blanched with hot water to kill bacteria. On the other hand fresh produce loses its nutritional value and flavor if not used quickly.

Frozen vegetables are good for cooking but not recommended for salads or raw eating. Frozen fruits can be used in baking. Frozen berries serve the purpose of quick and nutritious dessert and great addition for smoothies/ juices.

In conclusion, frozen produce is better option for off season and definitely serves the purpose of adding recommended 5-8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
Undoubtedly fresh produce is best in ideal situation but frozen vegetables and fruits are not bad either.

 

Next time when you grab the frozen slob of spinach instead of those fresh green beautiful looking leaves, be assured you are still doing the right thing. Eating vegetables and fruits is very important for good health and there is undeniable way to it…..

Kale – Nutrition Powerhouse

 

Kale is known to be one of the most healthiest, nutrient dense vegetable of all
Kale is the most nutritious green leafy vegetable.  According to American Dietetic Association, Foods that may offer protection from cancers contain antioxidants, phytochemicals and fiber and Kale is the one of them.

Kale … Vow!!!
Like nearly all vegetables, kale is extremely low in fat, with only 3.9 calories of fat in an average 1-cup (67g) serving. Kale is also a excellent source of protein and a good source of dietary fiber. Each serving of kale has 1g of dietary fiber.

Kale is considered as a “superfood,” packed with vitamins.
It is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C. Kale is also an outstanding source of vitamin K. It is a good source of vitamin B6 as well. It is also very high in thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), and niacin (vitamin B3).

Kale is no slouch when it comes to minerals, either.
kale, is good source of calcium that is relatively easy to absorb. It is a very good source of minerals such as calcium (9 percent daily value), copper (10 percent daily value), potassium (9 percent daily value) and manganese. Kale is also a decent source of folate, phosphorus, iron and magnesium.

Interesting way to eat kale….

Kale chips :-

In large bowl, toss kale with olive oil until thoroughly coated. Sprinkle  salt, red chili powder . Spread in a single layer on baking sheet and bake on 350 degree F until chips are crispy, about 15 minutes.

You say Tomato, I say Healthy

When we were young, our parents use to tell us “If you eat tomatoes, your cheeks will turn red”. Buoy!!! Did we not go overboard eating those…. We ate tomato in every possible way ….cutting in slices and sprinkling with sugar, dipping in salt, adding on soup …. Glad we grew loving tomatoes.

What’s special about tomato ? Lycopene ?
Several research studies published in the past year showcased the health benefits of lycopene from tomatoes, including the capability of this antioxidant to potentially inhibit cancer cell growth and enhance cardiovascular health.
Lycopene has been shown to help protect not only against prostate, but breast, pancreatic and intestinal cancers, especially when consumed with fat-rich foods, such as avocado, olive oil or nuts.

What Else?
Tomato is good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper. It is also a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium and Manganese.

How to choose?
For the most lycopene, choose the deepest red organic ketchup, tomato sauce, juice and other tomato products.

Cooked or raw dosent matter….
In June 2010 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers published the study proving dietary lycopene whether in its purified form or within its food matrix, can affect gene expression and thus may protect against several types of cancer. Meaning tomatoes can be eaten raw, cooked or processed in ketchup or tomato sauce.Apart from salad and in sandwiches there are several ways to incorporate tomato in our diet. Be creative and experiment.

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.”
Julia Child

What color is your diet?

What color is your diet by David Heber and Susan Bowerman

 

After reading this book Smoothie making was so much easier absolutely no brain work….
This book is excellent in regards to enforcing the importance of consuming wide variety of fruits and vegetables in our daily diet. We are well aware of the fact that our diet should include rainbow colored fruits and vegetables but the way this fact is stressed in ‘What color is your diet’ is splendid. Author has divided all fruits and vegetables in 8 color groups and explained their importance in very appealing way.

whatcolorofdiet-book-Red Group
Tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon all contain lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals, especially ones derived from oxygen. Lycopene may help prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis.

Red/Purple Group
Grapes, red wine, Grape juice, prunes, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, red apples contain anthocyanin, which is powerful antioxidant. Anthocyanin has beneficial effect on heart disease by inhibiting blood clot formation.

Orange group
Carrots, mangos, apricots, cantaloupe, pumpkins, acorn squash, winter squash and sweet potato contain alpha and beta-carotene. From information provided by Mayo clinic Alpha, beta, and gamma carotene are considered pro-vitamins because they can be converted to active vitamin A. The carotenes possess antioxidant properties. Vitamin A serves several biological functions including involvement in the synthesis of certain glycoproteins.

Orange yellow group
Orange juice, tangerine, peaches, papayas, and nectarines provide Beta-cryptothanxin. It helps in cancer prevention and targets prevention of heart disease.

Yellow-green group
Spinach, Collard, mustard and turneep greens, yellow corn green peas, avocado and honey dew melon provides lutein and zeaxanthin. They are good for eyes and contribute to eye health.

Green group
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, bok choi, kale provides sulphoraphane, isothiocyanate and indoles which stimulate the genes in liver to turn on production of enzyme that break down the cancer causing chemicals in the body.

White-green group
Garlic, onions, celery, pears, white wine, endive and chives – contains antioxidant allicin, which has shown to have anti tumor effects. They also contain flavonoids – quercetin and kaempferol.

Apart from these color groups author has provided some interesting facts about few herbs.

Mint – Peppermint aids digestion by relaxing the sphincter muscle between esophagus and stomach, relaxing trapped gas after a big meal. It can be used as a garnish and flavoring drinks, soups, salads and desserts.

Parsley – Used as a garnish and flavorings for sauces and soups. Parsley is rich source if vitamin C and can be used to cover up the flavor of garlic.

Rosemary – Rosemary has distinctive taste due to its content of phytochemical called ‘carnosic acid’. This phytochemical has been shown in laboratory experiment to combine with other phytochemical such as lycopene from tomatoes to kill cancer.

Thyme – A Solution of thymes most active ingredient thymol is used in cough drops and vapor rub for colds. It can also be used in soups and sauces.

Authors have also included discussion on nuts; following are some highlights:
There is definitely no doubt that nuts can be fattening. They are high in calories and fats, more than 75% of calories from nuts are from fats. Most of the fats in nuts is mono saturated and poly saturated. However, in countries where nuts are major part of diet, it tends to e rich in plant foods and low in calories, unlike in American diet where high fat, high calorie and processed food rules. Best way to incorporate nuts in an American diet is to substitute them for something else rather then simply adding them to the regular diet.

Some nuts are good source of thiamin, niacin, phosphorus, zinc and folate and excellent source of selenium, copper, magnesium, manganese and vitamin E. Plant compound ‘flavonoids’ is found in all nuts. This powerful antioxidant helps reduce the formation of substance in the body that may contribute to cancer or cardiovascular disease. Relative to their size nuts are also among the best plant source of protein. Walnuts and Almonds are rich sources of Omega 3 fatty acids but beware of too much of good thing.

Overall book is extremely informative and useful.

Olive Oil – The Good, The Better, The Best

Homer, Greek poet coined the term liquid gold for Olive oil in his epic poem Odyssey.

 

 

Let’s find out what makes Olive Oil so special…..
Olive oil contains approximately 80% monounsaturated, 14% saturated, 9% polyunsaturated fats on average. Olive oil is rich in vitamins A, B-1, B-2, C, D, E and K and in iron. The beneficial health effects of olive oil are due to both its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and it’s high content of anti-oxidative substances.

Types of Olive Oil:

  • Extra virgin olive oil:  cold-pressed result of the first pressing of the olives, with only 1% acid; considered the finest and fruitiest, and thus the most expensive; ranges from a crystalline champagne color to greenish-golden to bright green; generally, the deeper the color, the more intense the olive flavor.
  • Virgin olive oil also a first-press oil, with a slightly higher acidity level of between 1-3%.
  • Olive oil: is a blend of extra virgin and virgin olive oils.Light olive oil:  This version contains the same amount of beneficial monounsaturated fats as regular olive oil, but due to the refining process, it is lighter in color and has essentially no flavor. This makes it a good choice for baking and other purposes where the heavy flavor might not be desirable. This process also gives it a higher smoking point, making it a prime candidate for high-heat cooking.

Benefits of Olive Oil:

From information provided by ADA – No matter what the type, olive oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids and the calories are the same. Terms such as “virgin” and “extra virgin” olive oil refer to the acid content—not the nutrient content. Extra virgin olive oil has les acid and a fruitier flavor than “pure” or “virgin” olive oil. Because it has more aroma and flavor, you can use less. The term “light” refers to the color and fragrance, not to the calories, fat content or if it has an olive-oil flavor.

Studies have shown that olive oil offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels while raising HDL (the “good” cholesterol) levels.

Olive oil is beneficial to the digestive system but it does not necessarily keep you thin; it contains just as many calories as other oils (9cal/g). Olive oil acts as a mild laxative, is a friend to the intestine and an enemy of ulcers and gastritis.olive
Olive oil is a good tonic, with specific benefits for people suffering from heart disease. Olive oil has been regarded as the “beauty oil”. The body’s cells incorporate the valuable fatty acids from the oil, making arteries more supple and skin more lustrous. The amount of oleic acid in olive oil is about the same as that found in a mother’s milk and is thus the best growth supplement for infants.
Drunk before a meal, olive oil protects the stomach from ulcers. If a spoon or two is taken with lemon or coffee, it prevents constipation without irritating the intestinal tract. It is also effective in treating urinary tract infections and gall bladder problems. It is a perfect remedy for gastritis in children. It accelerates brain development and strengthens the bones.

Purchasing and Storing Olive oil:

When purchasing olive oil, it is important to check labels for the percentage of acidity, grade of oil, volume, and country of origin. The level of acidity is a key factor in choosing fine olive oil, along with color, flavor, and aroma.
Also, be aware that heat, light and air can affect the taste of olive oil and possibly its health-promoting nutrients. Store olive oil in a dark, room-temperature cupboard, or even in the refrigerator. The fats and healthy phytonutrients in olive oil — as well as the taste — can slowly degrade over time, so it’s probably best to use it within a year or within six months once opened.

Cooking with Olive oil:
There is a huge misconception that cooking in olive oil diminishes the nutritional value of the food. The fact is that excessive heating of olive oil will evaporate the alcohols and esters that make up its delicate taste and fragrance causing it to lose flavor.
When cooking with olive oil, save your extra-virgin expensive oils for salads, dressings and vinaigrettes. Extra virgin olive oil tastes great on cooked vegetables or brushed onto fish before serving.
When sautéing or frying, use either a combination olive oil (one that is simply a blend of extra virgin and regular olive oil) or straight olive oil.
For deep-frying, the olive oil grade “olive oil,” is excellent because it has a higher smoke point (410º F) than virgin or extra virgin oils.
Choose the light or mild type of olive oil for baking, especially savory breads and sweets such as cakes, cookies, and other desserts. Because of the filtration these types of oils have undergone, they withstand high-heat cooking methods.