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Friday, 30 March 2007

I am stressed!

Whenever, I go visiting, I am offered tea or coffee.. array baba.. I don’t want na. These drinks affect my nervous system and they deplete available supply of vitamins and minerals which are my body’s main resource. But you don’t understand. You spoilt your health and mine too. Whenever I am sick, you offer your sound advice, and then you go to your medicine box and pluck a medicine for me…array baba try to understand I don’t want drugs to cure me…. Chemical remedies cannot ‘cure’ any problems, they merely defer their effects. Do you want me to become addicted to drugs? huh? Give me herbal teas like Camomile, passion flower or lime-blossom tea this will help me to relieve stress and tension. You don’t understand my body like I do. You offer me out of good will and I can’t refuse and then I get stressed. Ok.. When ever I feel stress, I allow my body to relax a bit. I am going to sleep.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Pills don’t cure us….. they make us more sick! uufff!

Many of us just keep popping food into our mouth without thinking. We cut vegetable, in goes a piece of carrot into our mouth. We cook the meal, in goes the spoonful of broth for taste. Food left over on the table, not charitable enough to share with a helper, we stuff it in our over full stomach. And then, we complain of overweight, discomfort, or pain. The problem arises when we don’t understand our body. It is very important to understand that health is the harmony between our physical, mental, social and spiritual states and each one of us has the power to heal ourselves. The only important thing to remember is to understand what our body indicates and act accordingly. Whenever we eat, we must be aware of what we are eating. We must be in a relaxed state of mind and we should do breathing exercise before eating for the body to have enough oxygen for doing its work We must remember that our body needs time, space and energy to function properly. It has three main important things to do: Digestion, assimilation and distribution of energy and cleaning. When we eat food, the priority is first give to the brain. Therefore all the nutrients first go to the brain for a complete refill and then other parts of the body get their nutrients. If the mind is not relaxed then lot of energy is wasted and other parts are deprived of its nutrients. The enzymes that are used for digestion make the food alkaline to be distributed to different parts of the body and the toxic is discarded by the body. On eating the wrong food, there is much toxic produced and the body starts to send signals with symptoms like high fever, cold, etc. Then, what do we do? We take medicines. To kill the discomfort, we take pills, not realizing that we are interfering with body’s way of removing the toxic from the body. By taking too many pills, we suppress the discomfort from one point but we destroy the good cells that are surrounding the sick cells. Thus with weak cell wall, there is no control and the cells start multiplying leading to many more disease and that put us in bad health. There is really no need to take pills. Just control your diet and allow body to fight with the bad germs. By eating proper food we can remain healthy. When we eat fruits, they help our body to do the safaie.(cleaning) when we eat salad, we help our body to produce enzymes that are required for digestion. When we eat sprouts and nuts, we help our body in its construction task of building of its cells. When you are sick or weak, don’t touch pills. Just take rest, or better still, go to sleep and let body go to war with those naughty germs.

Thursday, 22 March 2007

I like cooked food!

Human beings are the only species who cook food. Even when they eat raw food, they cannot eat without garnishing the salad. Now my nutritionist is saying that eating cooked food is wrong. She says that cooking destroys vitamins. The application of heat is destructive to vitamins, and higher the temperature, the more destructive heat will be to vitamins. Not only are these vitamins destroyed but their residue is unstable and toxic when ingested. During cooking there is mineral loss. Minerals are essential for all metabolic activities. Their presence sustains the alkalinity of body fluids. Minerals are required for structure, in healing and repair. People who lack the mineral in their diet feel the fatigue and lack of endurance and strength. When we choose mineral-rich foods and then eat them uncooked, masticating the food well, we then will provide our body with best raw materials to produce healthy cells and tissues. Cooking destroys food enzymes that are required for the digestion of the food. Enzymes activate and control all the chemical actions and reactions within the cells and regulate the energy output for all physical and mental activity. Cooking alters the proteins and they become less digestible and toxic. It is not possible for our body to build its own proteins from food if the proteins have been coagulated and amino acids de-ammonized. Cooking fat containing foods renders the fat and the foods less digestible and highly toxic. The National Academy of science has noted that. in countries where the consumption is high of food like sausages, fish, ham, etc, cancer of the digestive track is common. All these products are high in fat content and all are eaten after being subjected to heat. So I ask my nutritionist, what do I eat? I can’t possibly eat raw veggies all the time. My forefathers have introduced us to cooked meals, you don’t expect us to go back to that raw vegetable diet? And she replies, “Eat what you are used to but eat salads. Very important! Understand! Eat salad. Eat cooked vegetables to please your tongue and eat raw veggies to please your body”. So now, I eat the tasty meal and chomp it down with salad, washed and grated. Hence forth I will eat fresh veggies with cooked food so that I get enough nutrients and not worry about the nutrients that I have already destroyed while cooking!

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

So today is the Cheti Chand..Happy New Year to Sindhis!

Cheti Chand A new year for Sindhis, to be celebrated with much pomp and show,

It’s the day to get kharchi from elders and to wear new clothes and go to visit relatives and get more kharchi.

 In the evening to go to some entertainment show where they will sing those same songs that they have brought from Sindh (with little alteration here and there). Those same song, sung long ago by Ram Punwani and Bhagwanti Navani etc. songs like Ek soun jo rupeeo allah ree allah. and songs like ‘Lal ja jati chau Julelal Bera hi paar, Sadai Sahukar’ (now u know how Sindhis get rich? If you chant Sadai Sahukar in front of Lal Sahi, and keep such positive energies all the time and then naturally you will get rich na? JuleLal always listen to people who are hard working and hold such positive energies. Lage raho …lage raho.. Sadai Sahukar. JULELAL!

 Okay this much information is enough for a child of seven year old to understand. But I need to know more about what else do they do? So I asked my sister to give me some insight.

She asked me to accompany her to Julelal mandir and she promised me lunch (good enough reason to go, free lunch? Why not! I went to Lal Sahiji’s mandir with her. The mandir was full of Sindhi ladies in late 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. There were few children (probably the grand children) but the youngsters were not there at all. Array Baba, who will go to these Mandirs after, say next 20 years from now? Our culture is dying na! With youngster, who are not in the least interested? ‘.Lal Sahi. Are You Listening? Days are numbered… youngsters visiting you? Eh?’

 Anyways we reached mandir and there were some ladies making the dough of flour and shaping it into diya (lamp), (each diya was stuffed with cloves and cardamom) and another dough mould (decorated with silver vark, dry fruits like almonds and cashew nuts) to hold the misri (rock sugar), they were placed in thali (a big steel plate) and given it to those who did not bring any from their home. But my sister believes in doing everything herself, so she had come prepared bringing with her all the things in her potli (bag). She only borrowed the thali from the mandir and one by one she removed from her potli and started placing items into the thali , things like diya (Filling it with pure Ghee and cotton wick), miisri, rice, fruit, biscuit and flowers, vermillion, and few coins. She then stood in a long queue to present this thali to the guryani (a woman priest) who would light the lamp, read the prayers and bless her thali. After the prayers she placed the thali (now, after prayers, this thali is called Barano Sahib) on her head and turned 360 degrees (three times) before she went outside the mandir and place the thali in front of huge picture of JuleLal (which had many more similar thalis) for the final blessing. She started praying once more (her own method this time) putting rice in her own thali, plus in other thalis and staring at the picture then shutting her eyes again.

 I meekly asked where the free lunch is. Eh? I followed the glance of my sister which rested on the long queue, waiting in line to get the food. Queues like you see at refugee camps…or those queues that you see in movies where the prisoners wait for food. Are we supposed to stand in this queue? I remembered that dialogue in some movie where protagonist says ‘hum judar khare ho jate hai.. vahi se line suroo hoti hai….’ I wondered if I could use that dialogue here…and cut this long queue…but alas!….with my sister around, nothing will work.. Disciple comes first!

So I quietly stand behind her and wait for Prasad. Delicious Prasad! Indeed! Peas pulau, bhee aloo. Salad. Puri, achar, fried bhajiysa, sweet rice, boiled channa, and sayoo and to drown it all with rose sherbet. (all fattening….my nutrition analyst would not approve of this meal.) Never mind, its new year na! …Lal ja Jati chau JULELAL bera hi Paar Sadai sahukar! Now I am getting some idea about this Cheti Chand According to the Hindu calendar,

Cheti Chand is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month known as Chet in Sindhi. Hence it is known as CHET-I-CHAND The Sindhi community celebrates the festival of Cheti Chand in honour of the birth of Ishtadeva Uderolal, popularly known as Jhulelal, the Patron Saint of the Sindhis. This day is considered to be very auspicious and is celebrated with pompous and gaiety. On this day, people worship water – the elixir of life. Followers of Jhulelal observe Chaliho Sahab. It suggests that for forty long days and nights they underwent rituals and vigil on the bank of Sindhu. They did not shave, nor did they wear new clothes or shoes. They did not use soap or oil or any opulent thing. They just washed their clothes, dried them and wore them again. In the evening, they worshipped God Varun, sang songs in his praise and prayed for their solace and salvation. After 40 days of Chaaliho, the followers of Jhulelal celebrate the occasion with festivity as 'Thanks Giving Day' even till today. A lamp is lit on a bronze plate, and this ritual is called Jyot Jagan. One lamp, akshaoil and vermillion are kept on this plate . A procession is taken out to the river front or sea shore. Lakhs of people participate in the long processions taken out in different cities, with colourful floats, depicting the life of the Saint and other aspects of Sindhi culture. The Sindhi folk dance called "Chhej" is performed with the procession. People go to a river or a lake and Bahrano Saheb is immersed in the water along with rice and sugar prasad called "Akho". It is customary to sing Lal Sain's Panjras and Palav to seek his grace. New ventures are started on this day. After the worship of Jhulelal, the Sindhi community display and present their rich culture through dance, drama, music and folk arts that are preserved and passed on to…next generation..?

  If only, our new generation can show some interest, then maybe. the lamp will continue to be lit…….!

Monday, 19 March 2007

Oops! India lost the first game! Storm in the cup!

I am not a cricket fan and therefore am not aware how our Indian team plays. Before the world cup started, I had asked everybody whether they played well and every body was hopeful that they will bring the world cup this time. Yesterday when Indian team played with Sri Lanka and lost, I saw the disappointment on my friend's faces. Every body is making a mockery of India's 'cash-rich cricketers' and the cricketing authorities for making cricket 'a product, not sport.' For the cricket lovers in India, the four favorite teams they would have liked to watch in the semi-finals matches were India, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Now, they are not so sure.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Salt-our tasty enemy

We have trained our tongue to eat tasty food. We find food without salt as tasteless and bland. We tend to eat overdose of salt not realizing how much it is harming us. Have we realized that by reducing salt intake we could actually lower average blood pressure, which in turn would help cut heart disease? Salt in fact performs its ‘flavoring’ by inflaming and irritating taste buds on the tongue. Instead of salt, we can use substitute condiments such as fresh lime, mango, tamarind, cocum, celery or sea weeds. Fresh raw fruits and veggies are also full of appeasing flavors and aromas. They tickle and provoke our taste buds without any need for additional condiments like salt. When salt gets into our blood stream, it is eliminated with great difficulty. Much of it is thrown out from our body through our skin. Instead of utilizing the energy for important body functions, our vital energy is diverted in throwing out the excess of salt from our body. Ill health is thus caused by placing an extra burden on the body to throw out the salt. Salt has no nutritional value. It is only a culturally conditioned habit. It is a habit that contributes towards many diseases like hypertension, obesity, kidney stones and even cancer. We must decide now whether we want a good health or a tasty meal.

Understanding Natural Body Cycle

So finally I am beginning to understand how our body works. It is very important to understand our own body so that we can take care. We ought to know that we are abusing our body by eating wrong food. Our body requires right food to build up its energy. And it also needs time to utilize these fuels. But what do we do?…we are eating continuously, just eating and eating and not giving enough time to our body to digest the food. Our body needs time to balance, rebuild and eliminate constantly and it has its own rhythm. When we eat, all our food goes to the food reservoir. From noon to 8.00p.m, is the time to eat and put all the food into our food reservoir. This is the time when our body can efficiently break the food into its nutrients. We can eat whatever we like, but we must eat the raw vegetables and sprouts with our food. Salads are very important because they produce enzymes that are necessary for digesting the food. If we do not produce enough enzymes, then the enzymes from other organ rush to help with the digestion. From 8.00p.m to 4.00 a.m. is the time when our body is doing all the building and repair work. It takes all the nutrients from the food reservoir and distributes to all parts of the body to build new cells and tissues. This is the time to rest and sleep and not eat, because if we eat at these odd hours then we are interfering in absorption and assimilation process and proper digestion of food cannot take place. From 4.00am to 12noon is the time when our body is getting rid of all its waste products and debris. All that our body does not require is thrown out at this time. That is why it is suggested not to eat anything in the morning except fruits. Fruits are used by our body to cleanse the system. That is why fruits are important because eating only fruits/juices during elimination cycle, gives our body time and energy to clean its toxins. Living and eating according to these eight hour cycles is the key method to tune in to the natural harmonious rhythm of the body. This is the secret to losing weight, feeling energetic, getting rid of illness and staying fit in the long run.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Eating the right food

Last Saturday, I attended a nutrition program. We were given a cooking demonstration on cooking food without oil. No oil was used in any cooking. She cooked about 6 dishes in two hours but none contained even a drop of oil. And believe me when I say that she did not use the non-stick pan. She said it was toxic. Instead of oil she was rubbing the tava with onion when roasting the patties and for cooking she was using ground peanuts or coconut. Instead of salt she advised in using rock salt or black salt and instead of sugar, she advised to use gur or dates. She said that we should avoid boiling or frying food, it is best to steam the veggies. She had made tomato puree by steaming the tomatoes and blending them with their skin on. Following of the dishes that she made during our session: Tomato curry Potato patties with ragda in coconut gravy Halved capsicum was stuffed with boiled and grated potato and steamed Steamed potato was rolled with spinach leaves and steamed Moong dhal was soaked and pounded into paste and mixed with spices and steamed and then garnished with curry patta and hing. For sweet dish, a kheer was made of unpolished rice, which was steamed ad mashed and boiled with jaggery syrup and cocnut milk. Cardamom and nuts were added to it. There was a stress on using food in its natural form. Our body can get all the nutrients from raw veggies, fruits, nits and sprouts. Rest everything that we eat like fried stuff, biscuits and savories between meals, is extra work for our body. Tinned or canned food is the fragmented food and does not contain all the nutrients since most of them are destroyed during fragmentation process. A high energy food is the food that provides carbohydrates/glucose and requires little or no digestion and introduces no toxins that would require elimination or extra energy expedition. Whenever we eat, the new food is added to our common reservoir which has stored nutrients from previous meals. The cells in our body, extract the nutrients from this common reservoir, and convert it into energy and distribute it to different parts of the body. The residue is either eliminated or get stored as fat that you see on your hips or on your stomach. By eating the correct food, the balance is maintained and our body does not have to over work to maintain the harmony and balance between our intake and the ends of the body. If the food is not right, then the enzymes from other organs such as liver, kidney, etc, have to rush to help with the digestion. As the result lot of energy is wasted in digestion of the food and other organs are not able to perform their own function. Some of the most important factors for consideration of selecting food for optimal health are that they should be easy to masticate, can be easily digested and absorbed by the body and leaves an alkaline ash after metabolism.

Friday, 9 March 2007

transcript of the chat with heart specialist Dr Devi Shetty

Q: What are the five thumb rules for a layman to take care of his heart? A: 1. Diet - Less of carbohydrate, more of protein, less oil 2. Exercise - Half an hour's walk, at least five days a week; avoid lifts and avoid sitting for a long time 3. Quit smoking 4. Control weight 5. Control blood pressure and sugar Q: Is eating non-veg food (fish) good for the heart? A: No Q: It's still a grave shock to hear that some apparently healthy person gets a cardiac arrest. How do we understand it in perspective? A: This is called silent attack; that is why we recommend everyone past the age of 30 to undergo routine health checkups. Q: Are heart diseases hereditary? A: Yes Q: What are the ways in which the heart is stressed? What practices do you suggest to de-stress? A: Change your attitude towards life. Do not look for perfection in everything in life. Q: Is walking better than jogging or is more intensive exercise required to keep a healthy heart? A: Walking is better than jogging since jogging leads to early fatigue and injury to joints Q: You have done so much for the poor and needy. What has inspired you to do so? A: Mother Theresa, who was my patient. Q: Can people with low blood pressure suffer heart diseases?A: Extremely rare Q: Does cholesterol accumulates right from an early age (I'm currently only 22) or do you have to worry about it only after you are above 30 years of age? A: Cholesterol accumulates from childhood. Q: How do irregular eating habits affect the heart? A: You tend to eat junk food when the habits are irregular and your body's enzyme release for digestion gets confused. Q: How can I control cholesterol content without using medicines? A: Control diet, walk and eat walnut. Q: Can yoga prevent heart ailments? A: Yoga helps. Q: Which is the best and worst food for the heart? A: Best food is fruits worst are oil. Q: Which oil is better - gingili, groundnut, sunflower, saffola, olive? A: All oils are bad; the so-called best oil company has the largest marketing budget. Q: What is the routine check up one should go through? Is there any specific test? A: Routine blood test to ensure sugar, cholesterol is ok. Check BP, Treadmill test after an echo. Q: How different was it in treating Noor Fatima, the little kid from Pakistan ? A: It was extremely difficult, Because of the media attention. As far as the medical treatment is concerned, she is like any other child with a complex heart problem. Q: What are the first aid steps to be taken on a heart attack? A: Help the person into a sleeping position, put an aspirin tablet under the tongue with a sorbitrate tablet if available, and rush him to a coronary care unit since the maximum casualty takes place within the first hr. Q: How do you differentiate between pain caused by a heart attack & that caused due to gastric trouble? A: Extremely difficult without ECG. Q: What is the main cause of a steep increase in heart problems amongst youngsters? I see people of about 30-40 yrs. of age having heart attacks and serious heart problems. A: Increased awareness has increased incidents. Also, sedentary lifestyles, smoking, junk food, lack of exercise in a country where people are genetically three times more vulnerable for heart attacks than Europeans and Americans. Q: Is it possible for a person to have BP outside the normal range of 120 / 80 and yet be perfectly healthy? A: Yes. Q: Marriages within close relatives can lead to heart problems for the child, is it true? A: Yes, co-sanguinity leads to congenital abnormalities & you may not have a software engr. as a child Q: Many of us have an irregular daily routine and many a times we have to stay late nights in office. Does this affect our heart? What precautions would you recommend? A: When you are young, nature protects you against all these irregularities. However, as you grow older, respect the biological clock. Q: Will taking anti-hypertensive drugs cause some other complications (short / long term)? A: Yes, most drugs have some side effects. However, modern anti-hypertensive drugs are extremely safe. Q: Will consuming more coffee/tea lead to heart attacks? A: No. Q: Are asthma patients more prone to heart disease? A: No. Q: How would you define junk food? A: Fried food like Kentucky , McDonalds, samosas, and even masala dosas. Q: You mentioned that Indians are three times more vulnerable. What is the reason for this, as Europeans and Americans also eat a lot of junk food? A: Every race is vulnerable to some disease and unfortunately; Indians are vulnerable for the most expensive disease. Q: Does consuming bananas help reduce hypertension? A: No. Q: Can a person help himself during a heart attack (Because we see a lot of forwarded emails on this)? A: Yes. Lie down comfortably and put an aspirin tablet of any description under the tongue and ask someone to take you to the nearest coronary care unit without any delay and do not wait for the ambulance since most of the time, the ambulance does not turn up. Q: Do, in any way, low white blood cells and low haemoglobin count lead to heart problems? A: No. But it is ideal to have normal haemoglobin level to increase your exercise capacity. Q: Sometimes, due to the hectic schedule we are not able to exercise. So, does walking while doing daily chores at home or climbing the stairs in the house, work as a substitute for exercise? A: Certainly. Avoid sitting continuously for more than half an hour and even the act of getting out of the chair and going to another chair and sitting helps a lot. Q: Is there a relation between heart problems and blood sugar? A: Yes. Strong relationships since diabetics are more vulnerable to heart attacks than non-diabetics. Q: What are the things one needs to take care of after a heart operation? A: Diet, exercise, drugs on time. Control cholesterol, BP, weight. Q: Are people wkg. on night shifts more vulnerable to heart disease when compared to day shift workers? A: No. Q: What are the modern anti-hypertensive drugs? A: There are hundreds of drugs and your doctor will chose the right combination for your problem, but my suggestion is to avoid the drugs & go for natural ways of controlling BP by walk, diet to reduce weight and changing attitudes towards lifestyles. Q: Does dispirin or similar headache pills increase the risk of heart attacks? A: No. Q: Why is the rate of heart attacks more in men than in women? A: Nature protects women till the age of 45. Q: How can one keep the heart in a good condition? A: Eat a healthy diet, avoid junk food, exercise everyday, do not smoke and, go for a health check up if you are past the age of 30 for at least once in 2 years. And work very hard and enjoy your Life...

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Back from my trip to Malaysia

I am just back from my trip to Bangkok and Malaysia. Taking holidays is a stress buster; I think it is very important to take one regularly. I went to Kaula Lumpur for few days. It is easy to go around in Malaysia even if you are alone and want to do a bit of sight seeing. There is a semi glass roof double deck bus with insightful on-board commentary which is perfect for having a delightful experience. This bus covers all major attractions, over 42 major sights and attractions that includes KL towers, Twin towers, Bintang walk, bird park, lake garden, and many shopping places. The route is covered in 2 hours. But we can hop-on and hop off at any place that we wish to explore and visit any place within 24 hours. I bought the ticket for 17 dollars (Malaysian) and was able to visit KL and twin towers and also went to china market for shopping. It was easy to recognize the tour stops because of its characteristic highly colorful and visible signage. On my way to Genting Highland we passed Batu caves. This massive limestone outcrop and its cavernous interior is home to Hindu deities and one will need to climb its 272 steps to fully appreciate the caves.

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