Everyone’s heard that breakfast is good for you, but here’s a breakfast that really is. It is lip smackingly delicious and healthy.
Take 1/2 cup of low fat milk, 2 tbsp of chocolate syrup, 2 tbsp of peanut butter, 1 frozen ripe banana and 1 cup low fat yoghurt. Place it all in a blender and process until smooth. To make it better, you can use vanilla flavoured yoghurt. To increase the protein content and reduce carbohydrate count, substitute the chocolate syrup with chocolate whey protein powder.
This breakfast is loaded with protein, fiber to keep you satiated for longer. So you won’t get to the office and dig into all that junk food. Potassium from the banana will help you keep the blood pressure down on the morning drive The calcium from the dairy is good for your bones, and a recent study showed that dairy promotes belly fat loss. Also, this smoothie gives you good carbohydrates which will fuel your body through the morning.
This is a great breakfast smoothie recipe. Or even a pre workout smoothie. For a post workout smoothie, we recommend using only 1 tbsp of peanut butter.
To make it a weight gain smoothie, swap the yoghurt with vanilla ice cream and enjoy
Along with apples, another delicious and nutritious winter fruit is the guava. Its high in fiber, but its Vitamin C content is what is out of the ordinary. Orange is the fruit synonymous with Vitamin C- but a guava contains 5 times the amount of vitamin C as an orange.
Its also high in potassium, which helps to reduce blood pressure. Guava is among the few fruits that provide calcium, iron and carbohydrates (good carbs, since they are not quick dissolving).
So dig in to those guavas!
Here’s a round up of our posts over the last week:
Don’t care to run? That’s ok. We suggest stair climbing. Its quick on time and burning fat!. Read here -Don’t like Running? Try Stair Climbing! -
The festive season is here. With all the celebration, the loads of sweets and fried foods, its hard to keep that waistline in check. Here are a few simple tips to avoid weight gain during this festive season
Everyone wants to lose fat quick. But it took them months, even years to gain the fat. In fact, some serious hard work went into gaining weight. Here’s a quick round up on how much work it takes to gain weight and what you can do to avoid it.
Think you know a lot about nutrition and health. Then, take on our challenge and test your health IQ at Fitho’s Health IQ challenge! Show us what you got.
The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2008 is here. Its on November 9. The half marathon is 21.09 km long. That can be a intimidating, but if you’re a new runner, there is the 6 km Dream Run. Its a lot of fun! Dust off those running shoes and get cracking of your run to a fitter and hotter you!
Need information, registration or just motivation? Check out our post on it- Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2008- Information, Registration and Motivation!
With the Navratras, the festive season kicks off- Eid, Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali, the list goes on. With all the celebrations, comes a truck load of fried food and sweets. With all the extra calories, it’s not surprising that this is when people put on the most weight. With the festive season any diet caution goes for a toss. Add to this the social gatherings, all the alcohol, the late night snacking, etc.
So, here’s a list of things to do this festive season to enjoy it and still not derail your health and gain all that unwanted weight:
1. Be picky- Don’t eat because you’re being offered. Friends and family will try to force feed you, but be firm with them. If you must for courtesy, then eat a small portion.
2. Indulge in the healthy sweets- We have a guide to the healthiest Indian sweets. Sandesh is a healthy option – since it is dairy based and is steamed. There are many low sugar desserts also available. We don’t suggest desserts with artificial sweeteners since there long term use might be associated with side effects.
3. Portion Control- Part of the celebration is to enjoy all the sweets and the fried food. So, indulge but control the portions. Also, try to balance it with eating fruits and other lower calorie foods. Even with healthy sweets, the calories can add up. One large cup of Kheer can range from 300-500 calories. Halwa/Laddoos are even more calorie loaded for the same serving size, since they have higher fat content.
4. Make time for exercise- Celebration shouldn’t mean not getting exercise. Take out at least 30 minutes for your exercise- go for a run, hit the gym, play a sport, do some yoga or just squeeze out a bunch of push-ups and squats at home.
5. Drink lots of water- Often our body mistakes thirst for hunger. When you’re craving a snack and you shouldn’t be, drink a glass of water and wait 10 minutes. If you’re still hungry, go ahead and feed yourself sensibly.
6. Take it easy on the alcohol- Besides being loaded with calories, it promotes fat storage in the body. So, its double damage- you’re consuming more calories and storing more fat.
7. Eat your green vegetables- Your mom was right! Green vegetables loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, nutrients and fiber, which helps to keep you full for longer.
8. Be Active- If you like Dandiya, dance away the night. Dancing burns a lot of calories. Vigorous dancing can burn up to 350 calories per hour, so burn that belly fat and have fun while you’re at it.
Use this festive season fitness guide and enjoy the festive season!
Banana milkshakes (banana and milk combination) are a common topic of health debates- whether banana milkshakes are unhealthy, fattening & weight gaining or good for health? Many people believe that if you have banana and milk together, it will make you gain weight! This is one of the biggest myths- banana milkshake does not make you fat- Let’s show you how..
Let’s analyze this a little. For a basic banana milkshake, you need one banana and one glass of low fat milk. A banana by itself has negligible fat. See banana calories & nutrition. Milk is a dairy product. And a recent study linked dairy consumption with reduced storage of belly fat. So, we know its not the fat that is the problem.
Both banana and milk have a low-medium Glycemic Index, so it is not the carbohydrate content that makes you fat. Besides, it provides you with protein, fiber, calcium, vitamins, and minerals, which if anything, don’t make you fat. As you see, there is nothing in banana and milk that makes you fat.
If you’re worried about calories in bananas and milk, then 1 banana is about a 100 calories. 1 glass of low fat milk is about 60-80 calories. So, a plain banana milkshake would be about 160-180 calories. The total calories from this concoction are lower than a bag of chips (about 600 calories). What the culprit probably is all the additives in a banana milkshake to make it taste better- sugar, ice cream, unhealthy sweet syrup (basically, sugar and water), and all the extra flavouring. These additives are loaded with calories, and are what make a banana milkshake unhealthy and fattening.
The other reason why people associate banana & milk with being fattening & unhealthy is that in general people who are overweight are consuming more calories than they’re burning. If they added a banana milkshake to their diet, did they remove something from their diet to replace with a banana milkshake? We all know the basic rule of weight gain: More calories in, less calories out and you gain weight. As you can see, the poor banana and milk are just scapegoats for people not burning the calories that they consume.
If you just have a simple banana milk shake, it is loaded with benefits- healthy carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and more. All you need to do to make a banana milkshake, is throw in one banana with a glass of low fat milk, and some ice cubes in the mixer.
Simple Banana Milkshake Recipe Tip: Next time you have a banana shake, add a pinch of cinnamon to it, or try some elaichi (green cardamom)- makes it delicious. The spices are loaded with antioxidants and make it even healthier!
Our recipe for the decadent and healthy dessert was recently featured on the Best Recipes around the Web.
Thanks a lot for your support and readership.
We love our food at Fitho. But nutrition is equally important to us. As is keeping them simple. And last but not the least, we avoid using processed ingredients. We believe that food is healthier when its fresh and as natural as possible. And we only post recipes that we have personally tried
So, we aim to provide delicious, healthy and simple recipes.
If you have any suggestions for recipes that you would like us to feature, feel free to comment and we’ll do our best to make them happen!
Over the past decade, soy foods have been hailed as a wonder health foods. Newspapers and magazines have gone on about the benefits of soy. On multiple occasions, when we talk to people in India wanting to start a fitness program, they’ll say to me … “I know, I should eat soy to lose weight”. This statement amazes us!
How did soy foods become the bane of new age health foods in India? First of all, soy does not make you lose weight. Soy is a source of plant based protein. Nutritionists recommend it to vegetarians to increase their protein intake. An average Indian diet contains relatively low amounts of protein. So, adding some soy based protein helps to increase the protein intake. It is normally recommended to decrease some carbohydrate and fat intake and replace it with this soy based protein.
The idea is that protein takes longer to digest in your system than carbohydrates, so it keeps you feeling full for longer. Also, protein is a basic building block for muscles, so its helps muscle growth.
The other point of caution is that soy contains plant hormones called Phytoestrogens. These plant hormones have shown links to health risks in both men and women. In men, it has been linked to a decrease in male fertility. Also, it promotes the production of estrogen in the body, which is a female hormone. Effects of increasing the female hormone in men results in an increase in physical feminine traits such as man-breasts, etc. A study also linked soy with lowering testosterone levels in men. Hearsay is that tofu has been given in Buddhist monasteries to reduce libido.
As we know that it promotes estrogen production (female hormone) in the body, it is not recommended for women to increase soy consumption, since increased levels of estrogen in the female body has been linked with breast cancer.
Its important to note that soy is consumed in fermented (miso, tempeh) and non-fermented (tofu, soy milk, soy oil) state. The non-fermented state is high in phytoestrogens. Non-fermented soy foods are a modern invention and consumed in large amounts.
As is obvious, that the jury is still out on the real health benefits and risks of soy. The conclusion on all of this is that if you like soy, enjoy it in moderation.
If you’ve got some sweet cravings, try this for complete sensory satisfaction.
Ingredients: 1 slice multigrain bread, 1 tbsp honey, half banana, 1 tbsp peanut butter.
Note: All these ingredients are Fitho recommended foods.
Toast the bread, spread the peanut butter on it. Slice the banana and place it on the toast. Drizzle it with the honey.
It is just delicious, supremely satisfying and healthy. The sweetness of honey and banana will fix your sweet tooth. The peanut butter will make it decadent and the unsaturated fat (healthy fat) will keep you feeling full longer. As will the fiber and protein from the multigrain bread. Besides those, this dish is loaded with vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. It will also give you long lasting energy. Great snack to power a long workout (have it 45 minutes before your workout)
As you bite into it, its a sensory overload. Make yourself one and slowly savour the taste.
Have you heard about the health drink that boosts energy levels, removes toxins from your body, aids in weight loss, helps maintain healthy skin, increases mental acuity, and reduces the risk of heart attack? We’re not talking about acai, mangosteen, or some gingko biloba based exotic juice drink. We are talking about good, old fashioned water.
A University of Connecticut study found that men who drank plenty of water before lifting weights were able to complete 17 percent more reps in their sets than those who weren’t properly hydrated. The central nervous system slows down your muscle activation when you’re thirsty. So drinking water before, during, and after your workout will keep you from falling short of your goals due to this physiological response.
Water makes up about 70 percent of our body- Blood is 83 percent water, muscles are 75 percent water, the brain is 74 percent water, and bone is 22 percent water. There’s little doubt that water is vital to your health and performance.
So, grab that bottle of H2O and start chugging.
Your body is like a machine. Let’s say a car. You put fuel in your car to produce power, so it can take you to places. But let’s see why you should eat good quality food and stop eating junk food?
In your car, you would always put the right fuel. If you use lower quality or dirty fuel and your car doesn’t run as well.
So, why would you put lower quality fuel in your body. Sure you’re busy, or you’re traveling, or doing something else. But why compromise on the nutrition you get. To get things done, you need your machine (body) to produce energy. But if you fuel it with junk, the energy you get from it and the state of the machine will also be of the same quality. Junk food will clog your arteries and body with junk and dirt, to keep it sputtering.
You only use your car when you need to drive somewhere. But your body, you use it all the time, for all possible purposes. So, the food you consume could possibly affect everything you do- your work, partying, playing and last but not the least, your performance in the sack.
Wouldn’t you want this machine to be in the best condition possible.
Chomping down on Chinese food while watching the 2008 Summer Olympics at Beijing could seem like the ideal way to pay homage to the host country. Some Hakka Chow, Chilli Chicken, Schezwan Fried Rice and Veg Manchurian…fantastic deliciousness. But if you get on that diet, your body will look more like Mahesh Bhatt than Mahesh Bhupathi.
Nutrition analysis of Chinese dishes show that they are extremely high in calorific value, sodium content, high fat content and high in simple carbohydrates (which behave like sugar in your body). Many Chinese dishes are high on soy, which increases sodium content drastically in the food. Excess sodium leads to increase in blood pressure and retention of water, which increases your weight and makes you look bloated and fat.
So, whats the solution? Clearly, not eating it is a bad solution But you can make healthy Chinese food choices while giving your order.
Let’s start with everyone’s favourite… those little steamed eatables called Dim Sum- You think its healthy because its steamed. But Dim Sum is primarily made of maida (refined flour), which causes your blood sugar to spike (watch out diabetics) and promotes fat storage. For starters, go for stuff that’s stir fried, chicken satay, flavored veggies, or a clear soup with veggies and/or meat in it. Or you can skip the starters and go for the main course
The main course is like a mine field of bad health bombs. Stir Fried dishes are good, since they are relatively low on sodium, are cooked fast and in lesser oil (since its not deep fried). Stay away from that Manchurian. First its wrapped in maida (refined flour), then its deep fried. Then its soaked in a high sodium sauce. Is there a better way to spell HEALTH D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R. Basically, stay away from anything that’s served as dough wrapped balls in sauce. All sauces, from Black Bean to Sweet and Sour are drowning in sodium. And some of them have loads of sugar added, like Sweet and Sour or Garlic.
For your starch options, there’s another mine field. The noodles are all made from refined flour and then they are soaked in oil and flavoring (including soy) – you know what that does, so stay away from it. The fried rice is a slightly better option, since its rice based, but again, lots of oil and soy, since rice soaks both of them fast! The best option is steamed rice. Besides, the relatively lower calories, it reduces your sodium intake. Also, it gives you a chance to really taste the flavor of the dishes. Try jasmine rice, it smells fantastic.
In dessert, I’m yet to find a true Chinese dessert. All the standard Indian versions of Chinese dessert are pretty unhealthy- Darsaan (fried dough with sugar), sugar coated walnuts, fried ice-cream. Do I even need to get into why these aren’t healthy Chinese food options. Chinese joints aren’t known for their chocolate based delicacies. Stay off it, even its on the menu
Our advice, go for the fresh fruits for a light and a sweet finish. Don’t forget to get some of that green tea or jasmine tea. You know, green tea is good for you.
It takes some questioning the wait staff, to solve the health mystery of a new dish. But don’t be shy – eat this way while watching the Olympics and you’ll be 1 step closer to looking like Michael Phelps. Have you seen the 6 pack he’s got?
If you like your tea or coffee really sweet, you should know what effects sugar has on our body? Have you ever thought about honey?
Honey provides the sugar fix, and it is packed antioxidants and is believed to enhance calcium absorption and contain a number of other minerals and vitamins.
Something to note about commercially sold honey is that it might has sugar as a main ingredient, which defeats the purpose of consuming honey. So, ensure that you review the ingredient list. In our experience, the Khadi Ashram honey is quite pure. If you don’t like the flavour of regular honey, there are many varieties of honey available in the market, like buckwheat honey, blueberry honey, etc. The types of flowers the bees pollinate from determines the flavour and colour of honey.
Besides all these benefits, honey is claimed to be a natural remedy and has been used as medicine for thousands of years. At Fitho, we truly believe that natural foods are better than processed foods and practice the same. So next time you have that sweet cup of tea, enjoy it with honey. Use honey to replace sugar in desserts, swap pancake syrup with honey, add some to your oatmeal or peanut butter sandwich for the extra energy. Even the Kama Sutra uses honey but we won’t get into those details here
As you see, its uses are limited by your imagination. Remember, honey still contains sugar based calories, so go easy.
Eat something and then burn calories because you consumed it. Sounds perfect or what? Green tea and weight loss probably comes pretty close.
Green tea is packed with antioxidants. All the wear and tear of our body along with our meat consumption releases free radicals in the body. Many of these free radicals serve useful physiological functions, but they can be toxic when generated in excess by causing damage to DNA, tissues, etc, possibly creating cancerous cells. Anti-oxidants react with these free radicals and mitigate their effects on our body.
Green tea helps to lose weight. It contains EGCG, that is known to stimulate brown fat, is even extracted and used as a weight loss supplement.
Studies have shown that green tea is also effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels and reducing the abnormal formation of clots.
There is more good news – a study at the University of Geneva found that men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those only on caffeine. Green tea also has anti bacterial properties, so its helps prevent tooth decay also.
So, green tea benefits weight loss & positively affects your health. Drinking green tea helps to live longer (reduces your cancerous cells), live healthier (reduces your bad cholesterol), be fitter (helps you burn more calories) and prevent bad breath (tooth decay). And you’re still wondering whether you should start drinking green tea?
To prepare green tea, boil a cup of hot water. Pour the hot water into tea cup. Dip a green tea bag in a cup of hot water, for 30-60 seconds. If you need, add sugar or honey. Do not add milk to green tea.
This the easiest way to prepare this wonder weight loss drink!
Most people spend more waking time in the office than anywhere else. And if you care about your health, or are trying to get healthier, why should you ignore the office as a space where you can’t be healthy. You’ll be surprised to know that most offices are not. There are health hazards all over the office. Its not that the office doesn’t want you to be healthy, its that you need to make some choices to stay healthy.
Office Tea/Coffee- Tea and Coffee are big things in most offices in India. A cup of tea and coffee isn’t harmful. The problem is that when they’re made in the office, they come loaded with sugar. That’s the stuff that’s not good for you. Most people in desk jobs aren’t active enough to burn off the extra calories from sugar. So, when you consume all that sugar, it goes and hits your belly and hips. Read here about the effects of sugar. What you can do to avoid this in your office is to either have tea/coffee without sugar. But if you can’t deal with that, tell them to bring you sugar separately. If that’s not possible, then keep tea bags of your favourite tea in the office. Get some hot water, dip, let brew and drink up. (I do that with green tea). Honey is a better alternative to sugar.
Office Snacking- All the cakes and samosas that are served in the office are probably worse than the tea. Tea at least has some antioxidants. But that samosa- its made of maida (refined flour) which has the same effect as sugar on your body, stuffed with oily potatoes and then deep fried! So, each samosa as wonderful as it tastes goes straight to that belly. Don’t even get me started on cakes/pastries- their basic ingredients are sugar, refined flour, butter, cream. Other snacks to watch out for- patties, rolls, cup cakes – equally bad for you.
So you’re wondering, what can I really eat in the office? Some commonly available foods- nuts (peanuts, almonds, etc), chana (roasted gram), fruits (don’t get me started on the delicious seasonal fruits in India), brown bread sandwich, low fat cheese- there are plenty of healthier food options. All these have vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, protein and give you the energy to get through your day! You can either bring these from home or easily find them around your office.
Smoking Coworkers- If you’re not smoking cigarettes, that’s great. But if someone around you is, then you are exposed to the second hand smoke. Everyone knows about the effects of smoking. Did you know that the effects of second hand smoke are about as bad as you smoking yourself? So, steer clear of areas that are the smoking joints in your office.
Staying healthy in the office takes some effort, but once you set it up, its easy to roll with.
Get yourself and then your co-workers on these habits and get fit.
I know “healthy paratha” sounds unbelievable, but there are options to make a paratha healthier. Use less ghee/oil and make it from whole wheat (atta), as opposed to refined wheat (maida).
All these things can be done at home, but when you go out to eat, its always a fight. I love my all paratha, but not the lard that comes with them. So, I mostly stick with eating rotis when eating out. The restaurants just don’t seem to understand that food can have flavour without dousing it in a vat of lard.
There is one restaurant that actually understands that, or claims to. Its called ‘Not Just Paranthas’. A chain of restaurants in Delhi, that serves over a 100 types of paratha. The best part is that you can get most of these as healthy paratha called ‘diet paratha’. I hate the term, but these are basically made from whole grains, roasted instead of fried and served without ghee if you ask for them too. And they are stuffed with all the goodness that you ordered.
The first time I came across this option, I couldn’t believe it. But its true. Eating the ‘healthy paratha’ is much better choice – its got fewer calories, less fat since they skip the ghee, more fiber and protein since its made from whole grains, and does not affect your blood sugar since it does not have refined wheat (maida). Its a no-brainer.