Friday, October 24, 2008

How easy is it to eat healthy?

India has become a dumping ground for Genetically Modified foods, MSG loaded foods and our government is doing nothing to stop it. They are increasing the use of pesticides too. In the midst of all this how is one to eat nutritious food? Slowly people have started saying NO to such food and organic food has come into existence. This I think is a real joke, because in our villages, people eat organic, their foods are not loaded with pesticides nor are they GM enhanced foods. And the less said about the MSG loaded instant foods the better. Our government does not think it necessary to ban MSG while most countries have recognized its harmful effects and have done so. And since most of us do not have access to organic foods, we have to make do with what we have certain precautions and care in washing, cooking and storing goes a long way.

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.


Suki said...

Brilliant post. Will relay to those who cook in my house ;). And will definitely follow the soaking steps especially with what i eat raw.

Indian Home Maker said...

Easy to follow, practical, just love it. Am going to take a print out and stick it in my kitchen. Thanks.

Mampi said...

Brilliant. Thank you so much for sharing all this wisdom. We needed it so badly.
Can I forward your link to my friends? Or would you rather I copied out the information and sent it in a forward?
I would come back to check your response to my query.

Anonymous said...

It is so nice to know that someone thinks like me! I am obsessive about these things, although I do not always follow it because of sheer laziness, but I am very conscious of it. Pure food is important and so are unskinned, freshly cut veggies. But usually I find I am the only one who thinks this way. I find people are so careless as to the way they treat vegetables. This is why it is important not to leave the cooking of one's food to unknown strangers! It is a matter of our life and our health.

Imp's Mom said...

@Suki: Thank you!

@ IHM: Your most welcome! :)you know de-seeding the chillies, still make the dish spicy :) only this way its safer :D

Imp's Mom said...

@ Mampi: Thank you and your most welcome. But the real thanks should go to Uncle Jag, who is a store house. He has many more tips up his sleeve :) and you are most welcome to forward this link :)

Imp's Mom said...

@ Nita: Yes! it is a relief isn't it. So many people we know, think it is tough to follow this procedure! And Uncle Jag is so going to love you :)

Amit said...

You can also support organizations like "Navdanya" and many others that are working to oppose GM. An individual may not be able to do much (other than at the personal level), but groups and organizations can manage a lot more at the policy and law-making level.

Priyanka said...

Great Tips ! I am going to try the detoxifying decoction first. I've already switched to par-boiled ponni rice. But I'm not sure where I can get non-pasteurized milk in Singapore :(
I think Maggi noodles is the worst right?

Monika said...

wow!!! very informative post... like IHM i am going to take a print of this and stick in the kitchen too

Imp's Mom said...

@amit: thanks for the info, will def look up the organizations...

@priyanka: try it, but keep in mind that you do not do the detoxification often, once in six months is good :) not just Maggi, but knorr, ramen and other instant foods are really bad. Ponni rice is really tasty, my kiddo luves to have it plain :)

@monika :-)

Indian Home Maker said...

Imp and Imp's Mom - a very Happy Diwali to you both and your brother and parents. :)

Rajeshwari said...

neat post :)

Imp's Mom said...

IHM: Thank you! and wish you and your family a very happy diwali too :)

Raji: :-) thnks gurl

Anonymous said...

Great post! Thanks so much for all the info.

Imp's Mom said...

gooddaysunshine: thank you! :)

PARRY said...

Wow such an extensive and great research I would say. And obviously to all the links you provided.
Thanks. Good effort on your part I must say.

Imp's Mom said...

Parry: Thank you:)

Usha Pisharody said...

First time here.. :) And I am glad I finally got here :)

This is an eye-opener! I had only recently come to know about the kind of allergy that some children have towards milk. But this post of yours is a treasure-house of both information and tips!
Thank you!

Imp's Mom said...

usha pisharody: Welcome! and your most welcome!

workhard said...

This is really awesome...You have put some really helpful tips here..

I think im gonna try ur detox plan once im done wid mine..

You are so right about the milk, i developed milk allergy for 8 years.. suffered badly, then went on a heavy duty detox and came out of it.. i still have to try out rice milk..

Love your post.. girl

Imp's Mom said...

Thanks Sara!

lactose intolerant .... living with it is tough nah...

glad ur finally out of it!

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