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  • QUARANTINE HEALTHY PAV BHAJI RECIPE

    In Child nutrition On 05 April 2020

    Pav Bhaji is a delicious street food and many might be missing it during the quarantine period. Even if one wants to cook it at home, the scarcity and unavailability of vegetables would not make it possible. So, for all the pav bhaji lovers out there, sharing a quick recipe below of the bhaji that does not require vegetables and is also healthy, rich in protein, and also very delicious. Ingredients: Pressure cooked pigeon pea (arhar dal) - 2 cups Tomato cut or puree - 1/2 cup Onion - 1 medium Potato boiled - 2 medium Capsicum - 1 medium Pav bhaji masala - 3 tsp Cumin seeds - 2 tsp Dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) - 2 tsp oil/ghee/butter - 2 tsp Salt - as per taste Procedure: In a pan, add the ghee or butter, add cumin seeds, 1 tsp pav bhaji masala (this will make sure the flavours are enhanced even when all the ingredients are missing). Now, add the finely chopped onion and capsicum and cook for about 3-4 minutes until the onions turn translucent. Add the cut tomato or puree, boiled chopped potato, cooked lentil and also any other vegetables chopped and boiled if available (carrot, beetroot, green peas). Cook them for about 5 minutes and all the spices salt, chilli powder, 2tsp pav bhaji masala, dried fenugreek leaves,  and cook until week done. Now, mash them all with the help of a masher and cook for another 5 minutes until the vegetables are well combined.  The bhaji is ready to be served. You can relish this with pav, bread, or even roti or rice and live your old memories of eating the street food at your own place, delicious and yet a healthy one.

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  • QUARANTINE PULAO RECIPE - Minimal vegetables onepot meal

    In Child nutrition On 05 April 2020

    Pulao is a one pot meal every part of the country enjoys and some parts of the world too. But, due to the lockdown and scarcity of the variety of vegetables makes it next to impossible to enjoy this dish. So, below is a recipe of a yummy, healthy and tasty pulao which has two vegetables that have a longer shelf-life and can be freezed very easily.   Ingredients: Oil - 2 tsp Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds - 1 tsp Curry leaves - 1 sprig (optional) Peanuts - 3 tbsp Green chillies - 2 slit (optional) Potatoes - 2 medium (cut into wedges) Green peas - 1/4 cup Salt - as per taste Turmeric powder - 1 tsp Vegetable masala/garam masala - 1 tsp Basmati rice - 1 cup (soaked for 30 minutes)   Procedure: In a pressure cooker, add oil, ones it’s hot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, peanuts, fry them for a minute. Now, add the turmeric powder, green chilli, potatoes, green peas, rice, salt, vegetable masala. Next add 1 cup water (equal to the amount of rice taken), cover and cook for one whistle. Let the pressure release on it’s own and the pulao is ready to be savoured. This is a dish which does not even need any raita, dal or any sides to be complete with. This dish is a complete and tasty meal in itself.

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  • INSTANT WHOLE WHEAT DOSA/CHEELA RECIPE

    In Child nutrition On 05 April 2020

    Lockdown and quarantine period is a time when you have access to limited products, not many grocery products at home, no house helps to share the kitchen work load and when the complete family is at home, the demands  and expectations are unending when it comes to food. So, below is a recipe of whole wheat dosa or chilla, instantly made without requiring many prior preparations. Ingredients: Whole wheat flour - 2 cups Finely chopped onion - 1/3 cups Green chillies finely chopped - 4 Coriander leaves - few sprigs (optional) Salt - as per taste Oil or ghee - for cooking Procedure: In a pan, add the whole wheat flour, salt and mix well. Gradually add water and form a thick batter with a dosa consistency. To this, add the chopped onion, green chillies, coriander leaves, mix well and adjust the consistency with water and let it sit aside for 10 minutes. Now, take a dosa pan, ones hot, grease very little oil and pour a ladle full of batter on this. Spread slightly to form an even base, drizzle some oil, cover and let it cook in steam. Ones the base is turned brown, flip the chilla and and cook until it is well done. Repeat the same process with the rest of the batter. To add more flavours to this while serving it to your kids, you can add some greater paneer or cheese on top while cooking it.   You can serve these dosa/chilla with coconut chutney, tomato chutney, ghee or just by itself.    

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  • 6 NUTRIENTS TO LOOK FOR INTO YOUR FOOD TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

    In Child nutrition On 12 April 2020

      There are so many lists of foods around you that are said to boost your immunity, but understanding the nutrients that play a vital role in boosting your immunity and the foods they are present in is very important. 1. Vitamin C - Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and plays a very important role in our body. The antioxidants in the body help fight free radicals, which damage our immune system. Vitamin C also helps in boosting immunity in people who are under major stress.       Foods with vitamin C are - citrus fruits like lemon, orange, lime and other foods like kiwi, red and green bell peppers, amla, broccoli, strawberries, papaya, spinach, watermelon and sweet potatoes.   2. Zinc - Zinc again plays a very crucial role in our body as zinc is involved in the production of certain immune cells. Foods high in Zinc are - flax and sunflower seeds, beans, cashew nuts, oysters, wheat germ.   3. Vitamin D - Adequate level of Vitamin D in your body is very essential for your immune system to work at a robust level. Sources of Vitamin D are - Sunlight in the early morning hours without sunscreen, mushrooms, yogurt and other probiotics.   4. Omega-3 fatty acids - These essential fatty acids not only boost the immune system, but also suppress the inflammation in your body. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids are - oily fish (mackerel, tuna, salmon, sardines), flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts and almonds, oils rich in Omega-3.   5. Vitamin E - Just like vitamin C, even Vitamin E is also a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin E plays a very important role in maintaining our immune system, especially among older people. Foods rich in Vitamin are - Almonds, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, hazelnuts, wheat germ oil.   6. Carotenoids - Carotenoids are a class of pigments that are present in plants. These pigments when consumed, they convert into Vitamin A which helps in boosting and regulating the immune system. Foods containing carotenoids are - carrots, papaya, mango, apricots, sweet potatoes, kale.   Now that you are aware of the nutrients involved in your immune mechanism, include these foods into your everyday diet and boost your immune system with these nutrient containing foods.

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  • HEALTHY NO MAIDA, NO SUGAR, NO EGGS CAKE RECIPE

    In Child nutrition On 29 April 2020

    Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, people are experimenting with their cooking skills. This cooking has also made a lot of people try on their baking skills as well. But, all these cooking skills are only taking a toll on their health and weight. Apart from this, there are so many people celebrating their birthday’s, anniversaries, and many other special days and the stores and supplies being closed, their celebrations are lacking the sweetness of a good cake. And, also we are all aware of the harm that maida and refined sugar does to our body. We always always to avoid eating these foods, but some circumstances just make it next to impossible.  So, considering the need of the people, be it adding sweetness to their celebrations, or testing the culinary skills, or not wanting to eat anything unhealthy, here is the recipe of a healthy cake that has no refined flour (maida), no sugar, no eggs, and even after all this, it’s extremely delicious with no comparison to the commercially available unhealthy ones. The measurements for this cake are done using standard measuring cups and spoons.                Ingredients:   Whole wheat flour - 1.5 cups Jaggery - 3/4 cups Baking powder - 1.5 tsp Baking soda - 0.5 tsp Oil - 5 tbsp (any oil without any prominent smell) Vanilla essence - 0.5 tbsp Cinnamon powder - 1 tsp Dry fruits of choice Salt - 1 pinch   Procedure:   In a pan, add the measured amount of jaggery and 200ml water and heat it until the jaggery melts. Switch off the flame and allow it to cool. Sieve the mixture of whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon powder. You can sieve this mixture upto 3 times if you want your cake to be fluffy and airy, or you can just sieve this ones. Now, add the cooled jaggery water into this and mix very slowly in the cut and fold method. Next, add the oil and the vanilla essence, mix in cut and fold method and check for consistency. The batter should be of a ribbon falling consistency. If required you can add more water. But, do not make the batter runny. Pre-heat the oven at 180°C for 10 minutes. Now, take a cake baking tin and line it with butter papers. Pour the better into the tin uniformly but do not tap the tin. Tapping will not make the cake fluffy. You can swirl the batter the with a tooth pick or finger tip if it is uneven. And then, garnish on top with the desired chopped dry fruits. Now, bake the cake at 180°C for about 20 minutes. The baking time varies from oven to oven and also depending upon the thickness of the cake. After 20 minutes, insert a knife and check if the cake is cooked. You can also make this cake in a pressure cooker and the cooking time may vary from 35-40 minutes. Ones the cake is done, let it cool down at least for about 20 minutes, and then it is ready to dig in.   Now that yon have a healthy cake recipe handy which is also very easy to make with all the ingredients available at home, let your lockdown celebrations and culinary skills have no limits with healthy eating.  And also, even after lockdown, do not worry much if your kids or family or even you crave for cakes. All you have to do is, just bake the healthy cake with this recipe and enjoy your happy and healthy eating.

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  • 13 FOODS TO BOOST IMMUNITY

    In Child nutrition On 13 May 2020

    Food is essential for our everyday living and our body. Our body and its functions are completely dependent upon the kind of food we eat. There may be many individuals around who are fit, working out, eating healthy and in their ideal body weight but still end up catching cold and flu very often. This indicates the low immunity levels. That may be because they lack the immunity boosting foods and the the right nutrients in their diet.   So, nourishing our body with the nutrients and foods is very important so that we are not only healthy from the outside, but, our body is healthy from the inside as well. So, here is the list of foods, that help in boosting our immunity and to be included in our everyday diet. GINGER - Ginger has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. Ginger helps in decreasing inflammation in the body, reduces sore throat and other anti-inflammatory issues. GARLIC - The compound allicin present in garlic helps in boosting immunity. This food is more effective when pressed slightly and consumed raw. SPINACH - Spinach is packed with antioxidants, Vitamin C, E and beta- carotene which increases the infection fighting ability of our immune system. Spinach also has high amount of folate, Vitamin A, fiber, magnesium, iron . These nutrients in spinach also boost immune function and provide body with necessary nutrients for cell division and DNA repair. Spinach is to be slightly cooked to to retain nutrients and enhance release of Vitamin A. GREEN TEA - Green Tea is packed with flavonoids which is a type of anti-oxidant which in turn helps in boosting immunity. TURMERIC - Curcumin present in turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. DARK CHOCOLATE - A good quality dark chocolate has an antioxidant called theobromine, which helps boost the immune system by protecting the body’s cells from free radicals. ONION - Raw onions are rich in quercetin which highly helps in boosting the immune system. For better results, consume a few slices of raw onion in every meal. MUSHROOMS - High in selenium and B vitamins like riboflavin and niacin, which play a role in healthy immune functioning. Mushrooms are also rich in polysaccharides, a sugar like molecule that boosts immune function. POMEGRANATE JUICE - Consuming pomegranate juice promotes the growth of beneficial gut flora that boosts the immune system. WATERMELON - An immune boosting seasonal fruit, rich in vitamins, minerals and also an antioxidant called as glutathione. Glutathione strengthens the immune system and helps fight infections. SWEET POTATOES - Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene. Beta-carotene when enters the body, turns into Vitamin A, which mops up the damaging free radicals. YOGURT - Yogurt is probiotic in nature. These probiotics help maintain the bacterial balance in the stomach, keeping our gut healthy, which is a key to good immunity. Yogurt made at home is more effective since the packaged and commercially available ones come with additives. BROCCOLI - Broccoli is rich in Vitamin C and sulforaphane which is another potent antioxidant.     The foods mentioned above are economical in season and are easily available without having to spend a lot of money and look for them at places. So, include these foods in your everyday diet and reap the benefits for the healthier you both inside and outside.  

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  • BENEFITS OF DRINKING WARM WATER EMPTY STOMACH

    In Child nutrition On 04 January 2019

    Whether winter or scorching summers, Pouring heavy rains or drought, in the best of your health or sick, when we wake up in the morning, all we look for first id a cup of hot tea, coffee or a glass of cold water for it feels refreshing but, the fact is that, it is only hampering our metabolism in return. Bad metabolism is the primary cause of many lifestyle diseases and disorders, the major one being obesity which in turn leads to many health related problems like diabetes, blood pressure, hormonal imbalances, cardiac issues, etc. Hence, a good metabolism is very important and can be achieved by a few lifestyle changes. One of the lifestyle change can be – DRINKING WARM WATER EMPTY STOMACH. The warm water can be of any taste and preference or upon your health conditions like LEMON WATER – reduces the activity of free radicals in the body. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR – if you suffer from hormonal imbalances, food cravings through the day, uncontrolled diabetes. CINNAMON WATER – high cholesterol levels and are diabetes. JEERA WATER – acidity and gastro-intestinal issues.             For the change of taste, even flavoured waters can be used, but not to use any store bought or packed flavoured water as they may be artificially flavoured, and we do not want to load our body with preservatives first thing in the morning. One glass of any of the above waters and rest plain water can be taken.             It is always better to consult with your dietitian before switching to any of the above water methods. Otherwise, plain warm water is equally good and is proven to have multiple health benefits. So, some of the benefits are: DETOXIFICATION -  Following this every day will heal your bodies, provides digestive power and reduces metabolic waste that might have built up in your immune system. IMPROVED DIGESTION – Warm water has a vasodilating effect. It can also cleanse the body by flushing out toxins. Acting as a vasodilator, it widens the blood vessels and stimulates the blood flow to rush towards the intestine aiding in better digestion process. It also helps the food in the stomach to break down faster and digest better. IMPROVES BLOOD CIRCULATION – Flushes out the toxins that are circulating throughout the body, stimulates the removal of fat deposits from the body and the deposits that affect the nervous system. So, detoxification process relaxes the muscles and loosens them so that the blood supply is not cut off to any part of the body. CLEARS SINUSES – It clears nasal congestion quicker than when you drink cold water as the high temperature speeds up the rate at which the mucus may travel. CONSTIPATION – Drinking warm water empty stomach helps improve the bowel movement and relieve constipation as it breaks down the food while smoothly passing through the intestines. Stimulation in the bowel movement helps your body return to normal functioning by maintaining your colon health. ACTS AS ANTI AGING – The toxins accumulated in the body lead to faster aging along with other skin problems like pimples, acne, blemishes and wrinkles. Drinking warm water empty stomach cleanses your body of the toxins and repair the skin to retain elasticity and free your skin from all the related problems acting as anti-aging therapy. ALLEVIATES PAIN – The heat from the warm water has calming and soothing effect on abdominal muscles, which helps alleviate pain from menstruation to headaches. WEIGHT LOSS – Drinking warm water empty stomach leads to a rise in the body temperature and increased metabolic rate. The increased metabolism helps you burn more calories resulting in weight loss. URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS – As the body is detoxified and well hydrated, the problems of UTI’s can be reduced and avoided. BETTER NUTRIENT ABSORPTION – As the body is detoxified, all the organs in the body function optimally with better nutrient absorption and no deficiencies.                                                                                                           So, taking up this change in your everyday routine will help you not only with above mentioned but also many other benefits which you will experience post application. Good health starts not just by right eating but also by, right drinking!  

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  • TIPS FOR HEALTHY NAVRATRI FASTING

    In Diet during navratri On 01 October 2019

    Navaratri fast is observed for 8 or 9 days and the food consumed during the fast is nutritionally rich and helping your detoxify. While the food consumed during the fast can help your body rejuvenate, wrong eating patterns followed can mess up the digestive system and devoid your body of all the nutritional benefits. A few tips to for healthy eating patterns during Navaratri: Start you day with warm water and a seasonal fruit. Starting your day with water will help your body detoxify and the fruit will give instant energy to your body. Prefer eating home cooked meals. The vrat thali and combo available at the restaurants may look tempting to you but is not tempting your stomach. As he food items prepared at restaurants are fried in refined and re-used oil, low on nutrition and too high in calories. Do not use refined for frying and cooking at home. Chose fileted or cold pressed oils or ghee in moderate quantities. Do not consume your fried in fried form. The fast observed is to detoxify your body. The fried foods are burdening your stomach and liver with lot of fat to digest and absorb. Do avoid desserts. The sugar is only adding to the empty calories without any nutrition and feeding the wrong bacteria in your gut. If you crave for dessert, you can opt for fruits in the form of fruit raita or fruits mixed with seeds in milk. Consume good amount of fruits throughout the day. The natural sugar in the fruits will make sure there is constant supply of energy without letting you feel weak. Make a juice of mixed seasonal vegetables as a morning or mid-morning meal.  The raw vegetables will provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals and good digestive enzymes. Stay hydrated throughout the day. This will help your body throw away all the toxins. And, sipping water throughout the day will keep the unnecessary hunger pangs away. Add proteins to your diet in every meal. This will keep you high on energy, fuller for longer and meals rich in carbohydrates without proteins will add to the inches on your waist. Protein can be added in the form of protein, nuts, seeds, amaranth, curds. If you suffer from acidity then you should take small and frequent meals, avoid fried and spicy foods and consume a small piece of jaggery after all the main meals. Do continue with your regular exercise and routine. Mental detoxification is also equally important and can be achieved by meditation, pranayama, workout, brisk walk in open air and most importantly staying away from screen as much as possible.   HAPPY AND HEALTHY NAVARATRI !!!

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  • ACTIVITIES TO DO FOR GOOD HEALTH WHILE AT HOME

    In Health Tips On 24 March 2020

    Considering the COVID-19 outbreak throughout the world, there has a sudden halt in our lives. In today’s world where people had no time even to complete their sleep or eat their meals peacefully, the sudden lockdown has left them pondering upon how should they cut their time which will also involve their complete family, productive in nature and also has some good health benefits. So, sharing below are a list of activities that can be performed when at home, without having to step out so that the home lockdown time is utilised in a productive and healthy way.   1. Extra sleep - Sleep is a very crucial element for a human body. It is important to have adequate sleep for better health, immunity, regeneration and repair mechanism of the body. So, while you had no time to complete your sleep, this is an opportunity where you can complete your sleep and wake up without an alarm. 2. Workout - Let the lockdown of gyms, parks and activity centres not be an excuse for you not working out. You can easily engage into some home workout sessions along with your family. The benefits of exercise are innumerable and you should gift all of them to your body. Some of the workouts you can engage with your family are - yoga, floor exercises, Zumba, aerobics. The access to all these are easily available online. 3. Cooking sessions - Apart from good sleep and exercise, if there is something you need to add, then it’s nutritious, home cooked food. With the increase in the number of eat outs, take away, drive-ins, and house helps to cook food for you at home, we are unaware of the kind of food that has entered our system. Use this time to involve in some family cooking sessions. You can involve your spouse and children as well. This will make sure that, not just your family time is spent in a beautiful way, you also know what goes on you plate. You can also try some new recipes by involving your children in cooking and research shows that kids who involve into cooking at a young age, turn out to be creative and non-picky eaters. 4. Meditation - meditation is an activity that connects your mind to your body, to help you relax and keep you calm. So, now that you have time and no excuse of rushing to work or a busy lifestyle, meditation sessions for 10 minutes, twice a day, will help you rejuvenate your body. 5. Reading - There might have been so many books piling up on one of the shelves, that you wanted to read since forever. now, you can just spend some time reading those books and either enlighten or entertain yourself. 6. Cleaning together - The lockdown has left the ladies in the home with no house helps, hence, increased work. Cleaning together as a family will not only reduce the strain on a single person, but also gives some cardio workout and helps you burn some extra calories as well. 7. Gardening - Spending some quality time in your backyard or balcony, watering the plants, changing their soil, growing your own fruits and vegetables, or just sitting between the plants will give you relaxed time and some good quality air to breathe in. 8. Play sessions with children - As children tend to get bored very easily, it is difficult to keep them engaged in one single activity. At such times, you can involve in some family play sessions with them, involve them in cooking and baking, cleaning, read them stories and stories, enrol them in some online activity classes or help them develop a new hobby. 9. Updating knowledge - Ever thought of all those online courses that you wanted to complete but had no time? You can now enroll in those courses and upgrade your existing knowledge which will be fruitful for you in future. 10. Re-creating hobbies - Every person has some or the other hidden talent or hobby which are forgotten with the growing responsibilities and busy life. Re-create those hobbies now and let the young ones in you be alive again. So, these are a few activities that can be done while at home, so you make sure that, ones the situation is back to normal, you do not regret of not spending the time in quality and productive way.    

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Ambika Niranjan

Nutritionist / Dietitian in Sec 119, Noida, India 

You become what you eat... It is always 80% food and 20% exercise... Don't starve to be healthy, rather eat healthy to be healthy.... These are some of the fitness mantras which prove to be so very true.  For someone who was obese to 95kgs at the age of 21 to a person who has been on a rough roller coaster to achieve the ideal weight and the best shape with a naturally radiant and glowing skin. My journey to fight my obesity issues forced me to learn more and transform myself into a completely new and energetic me overloaded with confidence. I have completed M.Sc and Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) in Alternative Medicine with Diet and Nutrition as one of the major subjects and also Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Nutrition in Clinical nutrition and Dietitics A nutritionist by profession and passion, I am always available for my clients through the best communication system possible to help them overcome their health issues, a stronger, energetic, confident and healtheir you full of positivity.  Expertise in obesity, PCOD, PCOS, post pregnancy weight loss, thyroid, Diabetes Management and all the other disorders arising due to nutrition issues.  You hire me as your nutritionist and I'll ensure that you reach your goals. I am also an expertise in online consultation available through skype or any other mode of communication, so that I can consult people at any places. 
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