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May 2017





Things you SHOULD DO :

The Prophet has said, ‘Take Suhoor as there is a blessing in it.'” Having the Suhoor meal before the Fajr prayer is so important that in old days, a mesaharati (public waker) was appointed during the month of Ramadhan only to wake people up so that they eat before the prayers and the impending fast.

Eating a wholesome meal just before you begin fasting will keep your blood sugar level steady, prevent nausea & headache during fasting hours and will give you the energy to sustain throughout the day.

Things to NOT DO :

Do not skip this meal even if it requires you to wake up 15-20 mins before you otherwise would.

MEAL OPTIONS – Hot homemade breakfast like poha milk/ roti dahi/ upma/ eggs & roti.




Things you SHOULD DO :

1. Eat slowly, it will help you feel full and prevent you from over eating
2. Eat max 2-3 items at a time
3. Plan your meals ahead
4. Eat fresh meals cooked at home
5. Any one dessert 30 mins post your main meal

Things to NOT DO :

1. Do not overstuff yourself as it will lead to acidity, lethargy, bloating
2. Do not drink too much at a time and too fast. Instead have sips of water throughout the non-fasting hours
3. Avoid packaged/ processed food products. They will cause dehydration, constipation, insulin resistance and weight gain


Have small meals frequently at short intervals. This will ensure that your system is not overloaded and there’s enough time to eat and digest all the different delicacies.

Break your fast with– Dates/ Seasonal Fresh fruits / Homemade sherbets

Post Magrib prayerHaleem/ Biryani raita/ Nonbu kanji/ Rice or Roti & any one type of meat

Post Taraweeh prayer – Milk/ Masala milk/ Milk with gulkand/ Haldi doodh/ Labaan/ Roasted makhana/ Buttermilk


1. Tea/ coffee – Not more than 2 cups/ day. Have it 15-20 mins after your main evening meal

2. Exercise– Best time to workout is 60 mins post your main evening meal. Make sure to hydrate immediately after your session and have a post workout meal (fruit & protein shake) to replenish your fluid and glycogen

3. Sleep– Make sure you get restful sleep so that you wake up fresh for the fast next day. Not only does inadequate sleep interfere with digestion, it will leave you cranky, irritable and also contribute to weight gain. Rubbing ghee or sesame oil on the soles of the feet at bedtime induces sound sleep

4. Fluids – Drink plenty of water between Iftaar and Suhoor to ensure the colour of urine is crystal clear, not cloudy

Stay healthy, stay blessed! Ramadan Mubarak! Ramadan Kareem!!

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Freshly churned this morning, a dollop of this white makkhan just made its way to the top of my morning paratha. Feeling full with just one of it; instead of my usual two parathas, I thought to myself that the good fatty acids in butter are at work here, stabilising my blood sugar. When our blood sugar is stable, rather than jumping from super high to super low, we do not overeat or experience sugar cravings. In short, ek butter, I mean, ek teer se do nishaneObesity and Diabetes or ‘Diabesity’

homemade makkhan

Diabesity’ is one of the two health epidemics that has caught the attention of food experts across the world; other being ‘Hidden hunger’, which essentially is a deficiency of micronutrients like Vit D. The ‘rich’ in developing countries like ours are busy looking down on Vit D carriers like makkhan and are replacing it with other vitamin enriched oils or ‘fat free’ alternatives. As a result, they are not really hungry or undernourished in the physical sense but have all the signs of hunger & malnourishment, i.e., struggling to sleep at night, getting up tired in the morning, getting acidic, constipated, irritable and having low energy that strikes at the core of their health and vitality.

A day spent BETTER with BUTTER!

The “live culture” in my homemade makkhan was already making me feel cheerful and my gut light and as I reached my office, I could see my intern thanking her stars not to see her usual grumpy boss today. I opened my mailbox to answer a client’s concern on his rising cholesterol levels. His doc, he said, had asked him to go completely fat free; no butter, no ghee. “Usual, routine instructions” I thought. If only the doctors had known that the lecithin in butter helps in proper assimilation and metabolism of cholesterol in body, we would not have been misinformed and the world would have been a thinner place. Moving away from my own thoughts, I wrote to my client asking him to have some white makkhan with his lunch. No, he will not protest. The Arachidonic acid (AA) in butter works towards optimal brain health and will make sure my client overcomes unreasonable food fear and takes smarter decision about his health 🙂

What am I doing now? Reaching out for my lunch dabba to savour some bhakri butter and chutney. Aapne khaya kya?

Confused by the misinformation about potential health problems with traditional Indian foods? Get in touch with well-known Mumbai dietitian and nutritionist, Munmun Ganeriwal, a strong advocate of the holistic, wellness benefits of fresh, local, and traditional Indian foods.

References & other related articles-

Where Dietary-Fat Guidelines Went Wrong- TIME Health

Butter And Cheese Not Bad For Heart Health: Study- Huffington post

Sweden Becomes First Western Nation to Reject Low-fat Diet Dogma – Health Impact News

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Tadgolas for summer detox, anti-ageing & weight loss

TADGOLA- the neglected local fruit

While coming back from my workout today morning, saw these juicy and fleshy TADGOLAS. Carried on a cart by a farmer from Dahanu (Konkan coastal belt), these small ice apples wait to be noticed by people rushing into the gym but all in vain. The more popular red apples coming from distant land stay happily tucked in the gym bags vs these which are cultivated just few kms away from us.

Few reasons why you should be eating this local and NUS (neglected and underutilized species) fruit are-

1. Weight loss- Low in calories, rich in water content and almost no fat, Tadgola is a must if you are looking out to shed some weight

2. Summer detox – The abundant potassium it contains flushes out toxins from the liver making it the perfect summer detox for you

3. Anti ageing – Rich in antioxidants, it is the humblest ‘anti ageing’ treatment for your skin and body. Eating local can get glam too!!

 Other Indian summer foods & drinks that will benefit you-

  1. Sugarcane Juice- A Summer Drink To Relish
  2. 10 Reasons to Eat Mangoes in Summer
  3. Rice- To Beat the Heat
  4. Are Sabja Seeds part of your Summer Diet?
  5. Cool and Healthy Indian Summer Drink- Variyali Sherbet
  6. The ancient and exotic Neera!
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English vocabulary has a term for people who lack strength and courage. They are referred to as SPINE-LESS. When you have someone who supports you always, you say he/ she is watching your BACK.

The first thing that is formed in a mother’s womb: The Spine is the source of all our energy. On a spiritual level, it is the seat of major energy chakras that determines the quality of our lives. On a physical level, it protects the spinal cord and transfers bodily stimuli via its nerves to the brain.

Spinal column consists of cervical (neck), thoracic (mid back), lumbar (low back), sacrum and coccyx (tail bone).

The extreme lower tail bone area is supported by the pelvic girdle (the hip bone) and the middle back area by the rib cage. Hence, they are less prone to injury.

Having no support and a greater range of movement makes the neck (cervical) & lower back (lumbar) areas more susceptible to wear and tear.

It is hence crucial for everyone to strengthen, release and stretch the muscles in these areas. Strengthening the abdominal muscles is also very important as strong muscles in the abdominals will take the load off the lower back and greatly minimise back strain.

Below are few very simple exercises which can be practised to build up the tone, strength and flexibility in the back muscles-


1. Bhujangasana – For Cervical spine (neck)

a. Lie down on your stomach placing your palms close to the chest

b. Raise your upper body. Straighten your arms and throw your head back to arch your spine

Pawan muktasana

2. Pawan muktasana -For Lumbar spine (lower back)

a. Lie down on your back taking both your knees close to the chest

b. Keeping your hips down, use your hands to press the knees on your chest and stretch your spine.

c. Raise your head up and touch the knees

Elbow Plank

3. Elbow Plank – For Abdominals (abs)

a. Lie down on your stomach keeping elbows at shoulder level

b. Raise your body parallel to the floor and resting mainly on elbows and toes

c. Contract your abs to keep yourself up and prevent drooping


• You can hold all these poses as long as you can. Aim for 20-30 seconds in the beginning and work your way up to one minute, as you get stronger.
• Repeat three times.

So work it out and flaunt it fearlessly. ‘Strong’ is the new ‘Sexy’ after all!

Image Courtesy – Google Images

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MYTH 3- They say that drinking green tea is a healthier choice

FACT 3- “Seeing is believing” but not always. One such example is Green tea and it’s health claims.

For we only see commercials on TV, tabloids, digital platforms screaming about the goodness of green tea over black, but the facts are often ‘boring’ and not get covered by media.

As a matter of fact, US FDA has time and again rejected green tea health claims. This is what it says-

“There is no credible scientific evidence to support qualified health claims about consumption of green tea or green tea extract”- US FDA

So the next time you are advised to eat any food with so called ‘health’ claims, take the advise with a grain of salt. Because the silent the food, the better it is 🙂


1. Green tea V/S Ginger Tea: Why “adrak chai” can accelerate weight loss


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MYTH 2- Unlike the regular Black tea, Green tea has Antioxidants with ‘detox’ properties.

FACT 2- If Green tea has Antioxidants, so does Black.

In each case, oxidation or non oxidation gives the tea a different set of Antioxidant compounds.

Research says that if Catechin and Kaempferol are Antioxidants in Green tea then Quercetin and Theaflavins in Black tea are equally effective Antioxidants.

(Research by American Society for Nutrition, ASN & NCBI, U.S)

Just that we don’t have TV commercials with skinny models promoting our ‘chai‘ for ‘andar wala‘ cleanse/ detox etc.



1. Green tea V/S Ginger Tea: Why “adrak chai” can accelerate weight loss

2. Green Tea Health Benefit Debunked

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Mangoes, the tasty & healthy summer fruit

MANGOES: The Summer Fruit with Amazing Benefits

Mirza Ghalib has sung its praises and Rabindranath Tagore, Amir Khusro have written poems on it, mango is not called the ‘king’ of fruits for nothing.

Hailed by Ayurveda as ‘Sheeta’ (coolant) and ‘Laghu’ (light to digest), it makes for the ideal summer fruit for you.

And if it’s great taste makes you feel it cannot be healthy, then check out just 10 good reasons why you should “cool” your summer with mangoes!

1. DIABETES – Low in GI, mango is not only safe for diabetics but highly recommended as it delivers sustained energy without spiking the blood sugar levels

2. OVERWEIGHT – It is fat-free, cholesterol-free and does not make you fat even if you eat it every day. The soluble fibre, pectin along with the vitamins and minerals in it helps to keep you satiated and full for a longer time.

3. INFERTILITY– Abundant in Vit E, mango is called the ‘love fruit’ as it regulates sex hormones and boosts sex drive. Think Aamsutra!

4. BLOOD PRESSURE – Being an excellent source of Vit C, it works towards lowering the body’s blood pressure.

5. PCOD – Rich in Vit B6, a mango a day will help regulate hormones and reduce PMS

6. THYROID – The Magnesium in mango converts the inactive T4 thyroid hormone into the active form of T3, thus enhancing the metabolism of the body

7. CHOLESTEROL –The high levels of folic acid in it reduces serum cholesterol levels, especially the LDL cholesterol in the body

8. CONSTIPATION – The Probiotic fibre it contains eases the bowel movement and keeps the digestive tract clean

9. ACNE – Vit A in mango makes it the skin’s best friend. It helps fight acne and is anti ageing

10. HEART DISEASE– Loaded with compounds called polyphenols which are strong antioxidants, it protects against heart disease and cancer.

No excuses, go grab a mango, right now!

 Other Indian summer foods & drinks that will benefit you-

  1. Sugarcane Juice- A Summer Drink To Relish
  2.  Enjoy local Tadgolas (toddy palm) in Summer
  3. Rice- To Beat the Heat
  4. Are Sabja Seeds part of your Summer Diet?
  5. Cool and Healthy Indian Summer Drink- Variyali Sherbet
  6. The ancient and exotic Neera!
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The ‘scientific’ view on ‘Maa ke haath kaa khana’ on Mother’s day

We got to admit that the food and weight loss industry has got us all so confused that we are eating anything but simple home made food. The switch from childhood dal chawal to brown rice with beans happened so systematically that every time I ask my clients what their favourite food has been, I am told – ‘Well, I don’t remember, let me call my mom and ask her’!

I am yet to find a mom who takes more than a nano second to dish out the answer. My question might sound straight from Derek O’Brien’s quiz to my clients but to all the moms out there its just so easy-peasy.

The ‘Maa ke haath kaa khana’ has been deglamourized by food experts holding the ‘weight loss’ torch. The parathas have been looked down as ‘fattening’. The ‘halwas’ that once filled up even the neighbour’s house with its aroma are said to be unhealthy and having too much sugar. Little did mommie knew that food she cooked would be reduced to mere calories and the measure of carbs and fats it contains.

It will be interesting, I thought, to look at the other side of ‘Maa ke haath kaa khana’ and what better day than today, the Mother’s day.

Though back at home ‘Maa ke haath kaa khana is considered anything but trendy and cool, home cooked meals is amongst the hottest food trends of 2017. The popularity of Home based chefs and restaurants serving family style meals across the globe is testimony to the fact that ghar kaa khaana is quite a rage in the West. Public health programs in America have been promoting home cooking and home food. And if these aren’t exciting enough for you, here’s few more reasons why you should be making way towards your kitchen at home-

1. The USFDA, in their 2015-2020 dietary guidelines recommend that we must eat traditional foods that are a part of our culture. Oops! Your dietician probably didn’t update you with this information before replacing your good old ghee with olive oil.

2. Genetically compliant – Researchers have found that diets personalized to our genetic make-up are far more effective compared to current ‘one-size-fits-all’ dietary recommendations.

For a diverse nation like ours where food is so personalised that it changes every 200 kms, do we really need a research to tell us this?

It’s time to ditch the “eaten by all” breakfast cereals and oats. Put back the idlis, poha, parathas or luchi aloo on the breakfast table based on where you come from.

3. Fat burnerGhar kaa khaana is always local and hence more nutritious. Better nutrient profile of foods consumed means better fat oxidation in body. Bole toh better fat burning! Voila!

4. Better taste – What is tastier? Your rajma chawal that gets you nostalgic with childhood memories or the unfamiliar quinoa with lentils you just learned how to make from the internet? I rest my case.

5. Convenient – The key word for Food giants to change our eating habits and introduce industrialised, packaged, processed food has been CONVENIENCE.
Unlike general notion, Ghar kaa khaana is the most convenient food one can have. Ask your mom and she will be able to tell you recipes that takes couple of minutes to be prepared. Case in point – Curd rice.

So cook up your jeera aloo and bhindi masala, eat it up and do not forget to Instagram with trending hashtag of #MothersDay. With lots of gratitude to all mothers, Happy Mothers Day!

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If only the small vendors on the streets promoted Ganne kaa Ras as ‘cold pressed’, ‘anti –tan’, ’vitamin enriched’ and ‘weight loss’ drink, we would have felt so ‘up-market’ about ourselves standing by his cart, watching the sugarcane stalks crushing into this beautiful green coloured juice.


This summer cooler not only rehydrates but offers many other benefits for we urban Indians-

1. “So much sugar!”- I most commonly hear this from my clients every time I ask them to down a glass of sugarcane juice. As a matter of fact, sugarcane juice has low glycemic index (GI). Eating foods that have a low GI is recommended as a nutritional strategy for diabetes, weight gain, insulin resistance and PCOD

Foods to have this summer – # 4

2. If you have hopped on to the newest diet trend wagon of alkaline diets, know that sugarcane juice is alkaline in nature. Your diet surely will not get more delicious than this

3. Go to the newest beauty clinic you know and you will hear your dermatologist swear by glycolic peels to take off your wrinkles, acne, sun tan or to work on the uneven skin tone. Know that sugarcane being a rich source of this glycolic acid, these peels are actually derived from sugarcane. Ouch!! Did it just hurt your pocket??

 Other Indian summer foods & drinks that will benefit you-

  1. 10 Reasons to Eat Mangoes in Summer
  2.  Enjoy local Tadgolas (toddy palm) in Summer
  3. Rice- To Beat the Heat
  4. Are Sabja Seeds part of your Summer Diet?
  5. Cool and Healthy Indian Summer Drink- Variyali Sherbet
  6. The ancient and exotic Neera!
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MYTH 1- If weight loss is on your mind, you need to keep your ‘Adrak‘ chai aside and switch to Green tea.

FACT 1- If there is one beverage that is consumed PAN India, then it is the one and only ADRAK CHAI. We love our chai and rightly so.

Healthy Adrak Chai

The ‘Adrak‘ in the chai has been there for a reason.

Ginger has a compound (gingerol) that makes sure your Leptin sensitivity is enhanced. Leptin is the hormone that signals to our brain that we are full and can stop eating. Better leptin response in body essentially means accelerated weight loss.

Sip on your ‘Adrak Chai‘ for great taste and slimmer waist but that’s only when you have not made a mindless switch to Green Tea yet!


See more on Green Tea myths-

1. Green Tea V/S Black Tea: Effective Detox

2.Green Tea Health Benefit Debunked



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