Go sweet n’ sulphur-free this Diwali | health and fitness | Hindustan Times
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Go sweet n’ sulphur-free this Diwali

If you must take a bite of that delicious ladoo this Diwali, ensure that it is made from sulphur-less sugar.

health and fitness Updated: Oct 27, 2013 17:16 IST

The festive season for most of us means heavy consumption of sweets. Even if you are on a strict diet regime, the temptation to take ‘just one’ bite of a delicious ladoo or a spoonful of sweet sewai is hard to resist. Though the demand for healthy food items is rising, using artificial sweeteners is a cold consolation because of the want that the taste of these sugary delights should not be compromised.

With festivities just around the corner, one should be wary of mithais that are made with sulphur-laced sugar. Such sugar has been scientifically proven to increase the risk of precipitating allergies (asthma) in potentially susceptible individuals.

However, the good news is that you can easily pick up a pack of sulphur-free sugar from many supermarkets in the city. Though for daily consumption you can use natural sweetners such as jaggery, honey or sweet fruits. More so, you can whip up desserts for the festive season at home using sulphur-free sugar and get healthy.

Neelanjana Singh, Nutrition Consultant

Week 11
Day 1

Diet for today

Breakfast: 1 yellow moong dal cheela with onion, tomato and green chilli in it, along with green chutney and tea without sugar
Mid-morning: 1/2 katori anar or 1 bowl papaya with 5-6 almonds
Lunch: 1-2 oat bran roti (70% normal atta+ 30% oat bran) with 1 bowl methi gajar subzi and 1 bowl salad which includes onion, tomato and carrot along with 1 bowl cucumber raita.
Evening: lemon water or coconut water and 1/2 katori bhelpuri which should include onion,tomato and green chillies
Dinner: 1-2 missi roti (1/3 normal atta+ 1/3 oat bran+ 1/3 besan) and 1 bowl mixed vegetables with beans, carrot and peas in it and 1 bowl of salad.
Recipe of
Methi Gajar
Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan and add 1/2 tsp cumin seeds.
When they begin to crackle, add 3/4 cup finely chopped onions, 3 finely chopped green chillies, 1 large clove of garlic finely chopped and ginger. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups chopped fenugreek leaves and sauté another 2 minutes. Add 2 cups carrot cubes, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 2 tsp coriander powder, salt to taste and 1 cup of water and mix well. Cover and cook over a slow flame till all the moisture has evaporated and the carrots are tender. Savour Hot

Breakfast: 1 bowl oats with milk apricots and raisins, in one tsp brown sugar
Mid-morning: 1/2 bowl anar and 1 cup green tea
Lunch: Cabbage rolls with mushroom in it. Use whole wheat flour and egg whites for binding
Evening: A cup of green tea
Dinner: 1 bowl olive and lettuce salad with a bowl of veg noodle soup and 1-2 multigrain bread
Post dinner: A cup of green tea

Recipe of Cabbage mushroom roll
From the head of cabbage, gently pull off 4 to 5 of the large outer leaves. Make sure to keep the leaves fully intact. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add cabbage leaves. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes so that the leaves are soft, but not falling apart. Drain, and set aside. In a saucepan over medium flame, warm 1 tbsp olive oil and add onion and garlic. Saute until transparent. Add 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook over medium flame for about 5 minutes. Stir in a pinch of rosemary or thyme and remove the whole mixture from the stove. Set the pan aside to cool. Lay the cabbage leaves on a flat surface. Take about 1 tbsp of the mushroom mixture and place about 1-2 inches from the edge of each leaf. Fold in the sides, and roll up the leaves with the filling, forming a compact stuffed cabbage leaf. In another bowl crack an egg and mix 4 tbsp whole wheat flour. Dip the cabbage roll in the flour-egg mixture and shallow fry. Serve and enjoy.

Keep in mind

* Begin the day with a glass of hot water with a few drops of lemon juice
* Avoid sugar or sugary beverages and diet colas n Avoid sugary fruits, including grapes, mango, banana, cheeku, sarda, musk melon (kharbooz)
* Say no to pickles, papad and oily condiments n No curd at night n Have 2 glasses of water before lunch, 2 between 2-4pm and 1 before bedtime

By Shikha Sharma, diet and wellness expert

Workout of the day

The inchworm

We will dedicate this week to the animal kingdom. There is so much we can learn from animals — they move with ease and grace by using their muscles properly. They don’t consciously choose to do so, but it is an instinct that comes naturally to them. We, on the other hand, need to put an effort into executing these movements, and make sure that we use right muscles to do so. When the right way, one can develop a lean and functional body which will move with ease and without any pain. Today’s move is called an inchworm. It is a great exercise to start your workout routine as it helps you warm up your core muscles and works on the muscle elasticity.

1 Stand tall with feet hip-width apart and reach up towards the ceiling as much as you can. As you exhale, curl down, imagining you are moving as an inchworm and touch the ground.
2 Once your hands are on the floor, start walking by using your hands until your entire body becomes parallel to the floor. Inhale and move your feet forward until you get into starting position. Just like an inchworm. Repeat 4 to 8 times.
By Vesna Jacob, fitness expert and healer

Yogasana of the day

Garuda, according to Indian mythology, is the vehicle of lord Vishnu. This pose resembling that bird, works on the ankles, calves, thighs and arms.

Steps: Stand straight with your feet joined and body erect. Bending your knees, take the right leg to cross over the left and lock your right foot with your calf. Try balancing by bending your knees if you wish. Now entwine the hands by crossing the left arm over the right and forming ‘namaste’ with your palms. Look straight and keep the back straight. Remain in this pose for 15 counts, now repeat with the opposite hand and leg.

Juhi Garg, yoga expert

Facts vs fiction

Vegetarian diet plans do not work for weight loss : False

Fact: A well-planned healthy vegetarian eating plan which emphasises on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy or dairy alternative always works. Vegetarian diet is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars. Depending on the type of vegetarian diet, protein sources can be included, such as eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, soy-based products. And grain foods such as bread, cereal, pasta and rice, beans and nuts can also be added. With planning, most people, including children, can healthfully follow a vegetarian diet.