What started out as an answer to suki's question and has turned into a full fledged post. Had been meaning to do this for a very long time, just never got around to it.All these tips and remedies are from Uncle Jag who runs the Jag therapy clinic in Mysore, we follow this at home all the time, irrespective of organic or not. We play safe.
Soak all veges and fruits in salt water for min 30 min. drain and wash with running water and leave them to dry. Soak the greens too, clean thoroughly and leave them to dry.
Soak ginger in water for 30 min in water, then wash it with a toothbrush under running water. Having ginger with skin is more beneficial than without skin.
Carrots, potato, sweet potato etc...all the vegetables that can be had with skin, soak and clean under running water with a brush( can use a discarded cloth brush or a soft brush) Be careful that you do not scrape the skin, only clean the mud out. It is healthier to eat vegetables with skin. And this process is good for those who like to eat raw veg and salads.
According to Uncle Jag, if the greens have a lot of insect bites in them, it would mean that no pesticides were sprayed and it would be safe to have.
Cutting & Cooking:
Cut vegetables fresh. There are times when we are in a time crunch, so we usually keep the cut veges in the fridge but for not more than 2 days(stretching our limits)
While preparing anything, like dal, sambhar, soup etc, add an inch of ginger (with skin). Just pound it lightly and cook it along with the dish. It lessens the toxicity.
De-seed tomatoes and chillies while using them. Its the seeds which are harmful.
Heat the pan first and then add the oil or ghee. Can add min while cooking and add olive oil as a garnish just before eating. Healthy and Tasty. My kiddo loves it :)
And since we are all slaves to our taste here are some Antidotes for those weak moments, but before we go there, first the imp know hows:
Preparing an Infusion(for 1 person): Boil one cup of water, switch off gas, add a teaspoon of the herb/spices, and cover the dish. Allow it to steep for about 5 minutes. Drain and it is ready to have.
Preparing a Decoction: Boiling the herb/spices for 8-10 minutes and letting it steep for about 5 minutes.
Cinnamon Tea/Infusion: Eaten too much at a wedding or when socializing? Prepare this with a pinch of sugar and a small strip of cinnamon bark. Sugar brings in the carbon required to break down the oily food aiding digestion. This should be had only once a month, DO NOT make a habit of this as it will weaken the intestines. Always to be had 30 min after food. Not on an empty stomach. Another option is to have Cardamom/ Elaichi at the end of the meal.
Eaten too much of gassy foods and stuck with flatulence? Mint Tea/Infusion to the rescue. Take fresh mint leaves, clean and leave them to dry in shade. Once dry, powder them in a mixer and store. Use this powdered mint to make the infusion. Always to be had 30 min after food. Not on an empty stomach.
For food poisoning: Cinnamon Infusion followed by Ginger Decoction, 30 min later. And this is followed by a through cleansing of your stomach through your mouth. Repeat the Cinnamon tea 2 more times. And stick to light bland food for a day.
Ginger Decoction: About 3/4 glass of water, add an inch of ginger with skin, pounded lightly. This should be had only after 30 min of having the cinnamon tea.
Have this only when you start to show the symptoms of food poisoning. This is a very safe procedure. I had food poisoning and fever 3 months after delivery and since I do not like to pop medicines especially antibiotics, followed these steps along with Crocin and was fine the next day.
Disclaimer : I am not asking you to not visit your doc!
Want to detoxify your body? Prepare a Decoction of a table spoon each of Cumin/Jeera, Feenugreek/Methi Seeds, Fennel/Thick Saunf & Coriander Seeds/sabut dhanya in about 1.5 ltrs of water. One liter to be had in one day, comes to about 4 glasses in a day. Take for 5 days.
With the influx of GM foods increasing, it is getting increasingly difficult to eat healthy. One has to be very careful when buying and eating. What does one do when our staple diet is being genetically engineered? Wheat, Pulses, Sugar, Salt, Milk all have additives in some form or the other. In the earlier days, roti's would be brown in color, now they come out white. It is because of the increase of gluten in the packaged flour. Excess gluten is beneficial to bakers as it makes the bread and cakes fluffy and tastier. During processing of the wheat, the wheat germ is taken out, gluten added and voila we get the packaged flours. The wheat germ which is the most nutritional product of wheat is exported. Organic wheat is available, but tough to find. If one knows or has access to organic wheat, then you can have it ground. I know of people who do so.
Have only whole grams. Soak them overnight, strain and soak again in hot water. Take out the skin and its ready to be cooked. Substitute sugar, for honey or Organic Jaggery. Regular Jaggery most of the times is adulterated. And depending upon your body's iodine intake decide on iodized or rock salt.
Packaged cows milk is the most adulterated. To Quote Shirley Lipschutz-Robinson
Once upon a time, milk was teeming with life forces. Today, supermarket milk is a brew of hormones, chemicals, DDT, fungicides, defoliants and radioactive fallout, produced by artificially inseminated creatures forced to stand around in muddy feed lots all day long...Read why we should eliminate pasteurized milk from our diet.
And how can I forget Rice? All the major brands available are polished leaving no nutrients. Switch to parboiled or brown rice.
It all boils down to matter of choice, however increasingly difficult it may get to be. But we must say NO to GM foods, MSG Foods, pesticide loaded foods and adulterated foods.
*If anybody has any more grandma remedies do let me know will update it or link it here.