Ek saheli ro rahi thi…

Have you ever played this game – It is an Indian Game- The game was called -Ek saheli ro rahi thi… So as a kid while playing this game, we would stand in a circle (usually all girls but some time boys too), there would be a girl/boy sitting in the center of circle pretending to be crying.  Kids in circle would hold hands and move around the circle..They would sing song- “Ek saheli ro rahi thi, uske pas koi nahi tha, utho saheli utho, apne aakhein pocho, charo taraf se ghumo, ek saheli pasand karo.” And the girl/boy in the center would get up , choose one kid, take his/her place and the other person will come in center and the game would go on, till somebody would like to play another game. For those who did not know the lyrics, the translation is ” One friend is crying, she does not have anyone.. Don’t cry dear friend, wipe your tears, choose a friend and move on”..

Did you have similar games in your childhood, which would tell how to live life, being a team player and instill good thoughts? This game had taught that don’t cry about what you don’t have, choose a friend and move on. Also help another person who is crying to get on his/her feet.

We have so many set of friends- childhood friends, middle school friends, high school friends , college friends and then friends at work. We just go with them, share our stories with them and that’s it. As we grow older we forget that we all are human and same and that in our free time we can help a saheli/mitra ( friend) to rise above the situation. May be just giving a friend call asking how are you doing? Giving a smile to a stranger who does not have smile on his face? Can we do that?

Forcing a smile on face even if you do not want to makes a great change in our life. It kind of detoxify us, makes us pleasant and other people feel good to. Greeting anyone with a smile can certainly make one’s day. You can even make a new friend who could become your best friend. Who knows?

Why I am writing on this? I don’t know. All of a sudden that song came to my mind. I guess , I would also teach my kids about this song besides Ring around the roses.. It does have a deeper meaning.. Let us help “Ek saheli ro rahi thi”… What do you say?



Chilli Jam Relationship

Thank you all for the response about last blog post. Frankly I did not expect the responses I got.. I thank you for that.

Right now me and my husband are staying in North America but in two different countries. He is soon going to join me in Canada.. We are now just like a couple before wedding. Except it is hard to be apart after 7 years of togetherness. It is like chilli jam.. Ever tasted that? It is hot and spicy and sweet at the same time. I know my elders are also going to read this blog post, but I am describing the relationship as hot and not hot relationship. 😉

I mean we talk late at nights and early mornings, we discuss what happened in our individual lives, we laugh at our goof ups and we cry too. We tell each other that how much we miss each other and how much we love each other and how our lives are going to be great together. It may sound like too cheesy for you guys. “Like you guys are in your 30’s and married for 7 years and how can you be soooooo romantic that you are still talking about your love for each other? ” or ” How is it even possible to be in same level of love as when you got married or more?” Or let me ask myself ” Deepti , did you drink any love potion to fall in love with the man again and again? That every day you just thank God to be in a loving relationship with your husband?” Don’t get me wrong, we do fight and at that time we are glad that we are in two different countries.But the rage is just temporary.

When I had a class on 16th February this year , while coming back from school, my friend asked me about what did I do for my valentines day..I said “nothing, we talked as usual”. She felt bad for me. I said – “Don’t feel bad for me. Because for me everyday is so special to talk to my husband..” She was in awe.

So coming back to the point “What is it that we both are doing to be in so much love with each other?” Don’t I see his flaws? Doesn’t he see my flaws after living together for 7 years? Don’t we get irritated with each other? If I say “NO” I am lying. Yes specially being a woman in reproductive age where estrogen is dominant and undergo so many fluctuations. It is harder not to notice the flaws. First few days it is so romantic “What have I done to have you in my life ❤ ❤ ? “And next 15 days angrily – “WHAT HAVE I DONE TO HAVE YOU IN MY LIFE?”  It might be funny to read, but not funny when you are going through it.

My husband Sree and I are a part of group which helps in developing wealth in terms of health, mindset and finances. We have coach and we have associations. We get books to read. Few of them are relationship books. Few books we read are- 1. Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus . 2. Five love languages. 3. Crucial Conversations 4. Secret. 5. Magic.  6. Skill with People. It’s not just me or Sree but we both read it and go through them. It’s necessary to know about conveying the right message without offending the person you are giving message to. You can not say my intentions are right but he/she did not get it or whatever he/she gets from what I said is not my problem, I told just the way I tell always. I tried that. – ” How many times have I told you to do this? I told you do this job but guess what I am doing it myself thanks to you.” What did I do?- I blamed Sree , I told him that you are not useful and that I am self-sufficient to do it and I was doing a favor on him by asking him to do that for me. Do you think he would do again something for me? If you said Yes, you are in bubble my dear..

After reading books that I mentioned, I realized my mistake. I started saying  ” I know you get tired after work, however can you please do me a favor and do this for me? I have this deadline to meet and it would be really helpful if you could please do this for me? – What did I do in this case? I acknowledged that he is working for us, I requested and told the situation and was polite. I made him realize that I still need him too, right?

Also when we talk, we discuss about what our future looks like together. We have a goal that we want to achieve together and there are multiple goals that we are going to achieve separately. I am not a TV person,not a movie lover, I love to do something like DIY, sing songs and learn new language and Sree is a TV guy. I would tell Sree early “there is nothing in common between us. How are we going to live together forever?” He said “do not worry. You have your dreams and I will help you in achieving them and I have my dreams in which I need your help in achieving them”. He had already read those books before me so he was applying the principles. However I took time to read them and apply. We do have our own times when he wants to go in Cave and there are times when my wave needs to crash( Ref – Men are from Mars and women from Venus). When you realize that, you start appreciating the partner and their work, & their love for you.

My cousin, I had told her to read these books, I do not remember when. She had told me that she appreciated these books and because of them she can understand her relationship with her husband better. And she had requested to write about these books in my blog post. I took long time to act on her suggestion, but here it is.

I hope and pray and put magic dust( Ref- Magic by Rhonda Byrne) on people reading this “May your relationship be as beautiful as I have got and may you and your partner speak each others love language ( Ref- Five Love Languages) and live happily ever after.”

Looking back at Life..

How are you people? How are you doing in your busy life? I know I was busy with my life and I thought of writing so many times. However somehow it did not materialize.

I know it is a big title to read and think. What happened to me?? Is this me? I do not recognize myself. I haven’t talked to many relatives and friends in long time. However I like to look back at my life near my birthday ( It is coming soon. I am not the person who likes to celebrate and announce my birthday. But for this topic I thought I should write.) and see if there is any change in me from last time. And I am grateful for what I have changed. let us take a tour with me..

Things that I want to look at are change in my thought process , change in myself physically and mentally and whether I was able to improve myself in maintaining/improving relationships from last time. Otherwise what is the use of growing in age, if there is no maturity along with it? Right? I look at it as a process where I become like ripened mango from raw mango.. It takes time but results are amazing!!

I will tell you real life examples from my life.

  • When I was doing my residency in Nair Hospital, we had one patient who would get admitted in hospital for exacerbation of asthma and COPD. He would come , get admitted and once episode is over he would go back living on the streets alone. He did not have anybody to take care of. Each medicine unit would try to dodge him like an object, including me. Because it would be one less patient to occupy bed right.. I even tried getting him into old age home but he refused as “he did not want to be in prison”. He would say in the ward that he feels very cold in ward but we did not have any extra blankets in stock. My senior would say, “Discharge him asap. We need bed for emergency patients”. One day when I was relatively free, I thought of giving him my blanket that I would use in my room. I thought that I could always buy blanket for myself today but at least I could get him out of our ward and my senior would be proud of me. I did that. Patient went home with “My ” blanket! I did a great job right? NO!! there was a motive behind that help. I wanted to hear my name.
  • Fast forward in 2018.. Wow almost 10 years forwarded. I am in Canada now. I am a full-time student here. Facing challenges as they come in front of me.

a) I was shopping for my groceries. Here you have to put a quarter in the cart in order to activate it. There was an old beggar in front of the food mall sitting on floor in cold freezing temperatures. I felt sorry for him and decided to put my cart back. I saw another cart lying nearby. I put all those cart together and whatever 2 quarters I got , I gave to that old man. I did not feel good. I thought  I could have helped him more.

b) I am cleaning snow in front of grocery store in Brampton around 7 pm. It was pretty heavy snow storm. One car stopped near me and the lady driver asked me if I could spare her few dollars because she forgot the wallet at home and her kid is sleeping in-car. Gas level was low and she was hoping if I could help her. I just looked at her, opened my wallet and gave her $10.  She was thankful and went away. Did I do right thing? I don’t know. She could be a con.. May be.. There was 50 % chance she was right and in helpless situation. Who knows. I just thought if I would have been in that situation.. That was not a very big amount as compared to what I got till now and would be getting in future. But I do choose to believe that I certainly helped a person in need.  Do I want to brag about it? I don’t want to but I want to share change in my thought process over few years..

I was reluctant initially to admit that I had changed in these few years. I hated to change. Now I am grateful that I am aging and maturing at the same time. And I am proud of changes happening in my life, my mentality and attitude. If I take a snap shot today as me being a student again, It might not look like I am successful right now. But if I look at my life as a video ( My instructors words – Audit vs Monitoring) , I would say ” Deepti , I couldn’t be more proud of you. Grow and mature every day”. This life video is really exciting!!

To snack or not to snack….?

Weight loss industry is a few billion dollars industry and every one feels that they know more about the diet and exercise. It is funny! You will not see a doctor or any medical professional giving advice about what could be the outcome of legal issues or engineering issues etc, but everyone thinks that they know about diet and exercise. Few people take crash course and become diet counsellor. Some people even do not need to take course. They go on the internet, google what they want, and become self-proclaimed counsellor. While seeing my clients, I come across this very frequently. Then I have to explain few things about the dietary pattern and why crash diet won’t work and why do you feel like you feel right now? Frequently questions that  I get are ( For those who want to lose weight),” should I snack , how many times should I snack and what should I snack?”Let’s address the issue, Shall we?

Typically a person eats 3 major meals and few times snacks. People take breakfast, snack , lunch, snack, snack and dinner and one more post dinner snack may be. Wow! Every couple of hours, we are eating, pushing something in the stomach. Majority type of snacks are fried foods, bread and cheese,chips, cookies, bars, sandwich, fancy snacks etc. Well, how many of people actually eat consciously? Let us look at our body as if we are looking at a third person. –

We have a stomach which holds and stores food and releases into intestine approximately 2-3 hours. Not completely, but major portion of it. When that happens and blood glucose starts falling, your stomach sends signal to your brain about food. When there is true hunger, your mouth starts salivating with the thought of food, stomach starts expanding. The stomach has muscles which needs to go back to the original size from time to time to function at optimum level. What happens if the rubber is kept stretched for long time, it starts losing its elasticity.Right?  Similarly when stomach is stretched for long time, it starts to lose its recoil and the stretch receptors (which give the signal that your stomach is full) do not function properly. This results in eating more food, because you don’t think you are full. It requires at least 15-20 minutes for stomach to send the signal that” I am full, ask the mouth to stop eating”.  As we are in hurry , we dump all the food in to stomach and expect stomach to digest it every couple of hours. The body has to work extra to fully utilize what has been dumped. How long is stomach going to suffer? It gets exhausted. It produces much more acid and when it occurs frequently, we get” acidity, indigestion, stomach upset etc” . Sounds familiar?  Good. Lets move further.

The type of snacks we eat are usually rich in carbohydrates, refined foods and artificial ingredients. No nutrition and lot of things to process, body then starts showing lethargy and weakness and dullness. “I feel tired at the end of the day” is the most common complaint. So what do we usually do? We get some cookies and coffee or tea and few tea time snacks and try to get out of the tiredness. Also by feeding our stomach continuously with these sugary snacks( Oh Deepti, but I do not eat sugar!! Well all carbohydrates get converted into glucose , you do not need to eat sugar to get glucose .) we continuously increase our insulin levels. Result? The weight gain-Both muscle and fat( more of fat) , then insulin resistance and then the breaking news- Ting ting ting! You have been diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. How did it happen? I don’t know!Ask yourself! Those with family history, if do not take measure early, have to suffer from diabetes at early age. Wake up nation! Time to change!!. Oh, but my ancestors used to eat a lot of snacks? Yes that’s true but they did more physical work too. Right?

All I am saying is take a break from eating continuously. If you are going to eat lunch within 4 hours of breakfast, then please do not have a snack in between.But what about increasing metabolism? I will lose my metabolism. 😱 No silly! Giving a break to eating in between gives time to prepare gastric juices which will help in proper digestion of food. We want optimal metabolism, not the excess metabolism. Excess one will burn you out. How to eat sensibly? Always add protein and good fat in breakfast. Same with post lunch snack and post dinner snack if required. We are supposed to keep a gap of 4-5 hours between major meals. When the gap is longer then have a snack which is usually vegetable/ fruit with protein and good fats like apple and cheese, carrots and hummus, cucumber and full fat yogurt or a glass of buttermilk or boiled egg or boiled chana/chickpeas. It should just keep you going through the time to have a proper meal. Drink a glass of water every few hours. We usually confuse thirst with hunger. So let’s do sensible snacking or UNsnacking ! 😉

P.S. – This advice is not for people who are on multiple dose of insulin or athletes. Check with your doctor and please do not follow any advice blindly.

Protein..a little bit goes long way.

Well today’s topic is about an important part of our meal. As you read it right. It is about proteins. Today half of the world is obsessed with protein and half of the world has no clue about it. So what is it? Why is it important? Well protein forms an important structure in our body. To put it in blunt way if you do not have enough proteins and calcium then you won’t stand up straight. Yes, that is right! You won’t have ability to fight with infections, walk around with energy and be a happy person. Hmm? Something to think about?

On the other hand, some people overdo proteins. They want to bulk up in muscles and look like hulk! Athletes need more protein than general population. Kids and pregnant woman too. You know interesting thing about proteins – You do not need more than 30% of your daily calories from protein. If you eat more than 30% , body turns it beautifully into glucose and then excess glucose gets stored as triglycerides i.e. Fat. 🙂 So when people say I am not loosing weight despite eating protein, you know the reason. 🙂

What are the benefits of adding protein in our diet in terms of weight management? – 1. Increase in immunity.

2.Increase in satiety. Yes. That is true. When we add protein our hunger goes away for long time. When we eat daal with our meal, we feel full for long time. We can sustain for 3-4 hours easily.

3. It makes you look young. How? It makes the base stronger and keeps face tight. Protein helps in keeping you look younger.

How often should we eat protein? In every meal. Every major meal should have at least 10-15gms protein. Basically 1/4th of the 10 inch plate should be protein.Not more,not less.

How can we incorporate that in vegetarian meals – Include daal, sprouted pulses, paneer, yogurt, milk in the diet. Include nuts and seeds on daily basis. Other options are tofu, seitan, tempeh , soy milk etc. Even grains, vegetables have some protein in them.

Some of the vegetarian proteins are complete like chia seeds or hemp seeds or buckwheat. That is they have all essential amino acids in them. However most of the vegetarian source of protein is not. They lack in one or more essential amino acids. So how are we doing if just eat plain daals and sprouts and no grains? We can not live just on seeds too? Many people make mistakes in making good food choices. Our ancestors have thought of it. That is why rajma is served with rice and ghee. Khichdi ( moong daal+ rice combo) or pongal is served to ill person for a reason. No doubt it also has carbs in it, but it also makes complete protein.

When you eat right kind of food( protein) it keeps you calm and keep going with enthusiasm..:) Continue reading

Life experiences.

I had been through some tough times  that I did not want to do anything. I was told by my parents to write in my blog but I guess I needed to believe in me. How many times have you heard that nobody will believe in you unless you believe in yourself. I heard it. Lot of times! So why I was not believing in myself when I needed the most? I don’t know. I needed approval from others to tell myself that I am a good person. I was cranky and irritated to the extent that I wanted to punch someone if they were not obeying the rules. I was constantly angry. I was angry that I have failed myself and my family. Even though I was listening to the motivational talks and doing everything to get me happy , I was angry and jealous of everything. I was angry that I am not organised and what they will say if they see my home! I was constantly blaming myself about what I have done and I was living the past of torture.

           Did somebody say something sometimes that I got hurt? I guess. But they did not want to hurt me intentionally. Right? Then why I was holding to that and ruining my life? Why I would constantly dig into my past and would dig into “similar experiences that hurt me”? And then dwelling on them and tried to ruin my “present”? It is a present for me right? I would go over things that I left in the middle and did not complete till end. And would tell myself “I don’t complete anything”, ” I just gave up in the middle “, “I am not good enough “. And that would make me so angry I could not express myself. I would think am I worthy enough? Have I taken right decisions so far? Whatever I am doing currently, is this right? What others think of me? I should be good and presentable and all should like me and always speak nice of me. Can anyone relate to that? I was constantly in tension and frown became my friend. It was my self talk that was making things worse.

         Fortunately I have my friends and family around me to support. I have my greatest cheerleader Sree with me. He told me, “Deepti , you are a fighter! Whatever happens, how many times you fail in your task, just get up one more time than you fail. You are a part of Deshpande family now and you know what Deshpande’s always finish their task whether it is good or bad. It may be extreme but I am not letting you quit till you finish. So whether the outcome is good or bad, finish the task you have. Don’t care about people judging you.” My dad always say this in Hindi – हाथी चाले अपनी चाल, कुत्ते भौंके हज़ार। That means “let the dogs bark but the caravan is moving on”. And one of our mentors Kulin Desai helped me to change my self talk. He also has written a book called ” Believe and Achieve “. It is available as an e-book in US as of now.

        I listen to motivational talks and read motivational books everyday. In one of the talks the person said ” don’t tell me your defeats unless you have a victory to tell at the end”. And another person said – ” If you get angry because of someone, you are letting him/her control your mind and you are the one who should control your mind”. So what if I am not acting according to what people says. I have heard people say many things about me- that I am different. I am emotional, I am not as smart as ___ is.  Old Deepti might have been hurt by this but new Deepti doesn’t care.

        So what if I care about environment, and being green, and being animal lover and I want people to get along well and I sometimes fall and take not so good decisions. Learning from those mistakes makes you smart. Whatever I learnt till now should be for our betterment physically, spiritually and mentally . I won’t write ,” Right ?”. Because I know it is right.. Hey I might be crazy but not stupid! 😉

Desserts in the Season for a Reason. :)

I was speaking to my husband about  different rituals and how they are related to particular season in India. All over India on the day of Sankrant/Sankranti/Sankrantri( People call it differently) usually dessert made with Sesame seeds and jaggery( raw brown sugar) is eaten. As this is my favorite ladoo of all the ladoos, I let myself eat it by controlling carbohdrates ofcourse. My husband does not like sesame seeds but he likes sesame ladoos. As I went for shopping for sesame seeds and jaggery from Indian store in New Jersey, I was explaining to my husband about special desserts for special season which is for a reason. As we had that discussion, he told me this is I think; followed in Maharashtra because I did not knew about this before you explained it to me. I was like, okay then! I should write it down in my blog for a reason! That to spread knowledge about why we have a particular dessert assigned for a particular season.

Most important reason is local availability. The food which is abundant in a particular season makes an entry into the plate. Even in US, you will find apple pies and pumpkin pies in the fall season and winter season and blueberry pies and peach cobbler in summer. Also in the season you will get most of nutrition using locally grown fruits and vegetables.

I am all of a sudden getting a feeling of writing an essay in exam. 🙂 Anyway where was I? Yeah so I will talk about Maharashtrian festivals with assigned desserts. 🙂  Let’s start from January. (Please note- I am writing about the festivals that I know and celebrate. There are many festivals other than these main ones that I have no idea about. Please let me know if you know about them.)

Makarsankranti- Sesame and jaggery dessert- ladoo/vadi- Essential fatty acids, anitoxidants and energy- Protects from seasonal change from cold into hotter season.

Holi- Color of festival- Puranpoli [a sweet roti made with chana(garbanzo beans) and jaggery and served with ghee]- with all the weather change and play with colors for long time we need energy and protein with fat.

Gudipadwa- New Year for the state of Maharashtra, India- Shrikhand( It’s greek yogurt/hungcurd with sugar and nuts and cardmom-nutmeg-saffron) – The season gets hotter and we need good probiotics to improve immunity. It keeps us calm and cool. Also neem leaves with jaggery and turmeric are eaten on the first day to improve immunity.

Chaitrapuja- Amba daal and panha- Raw mango along with raw soaked chana daal and raw mango drink- Abundant vitamin C, A, protein during summer in India.

Ramnavmi- Summer season- Sunthwada/ladoo- Dried ginger with other spices and jaggery/sugar. – Immunity, Antioxidants during summer.

Naralipornima/Rakshabandhan- Narali Bhat( Sweet coconut rice) – Locally grown rice with coconut( good fat ) and jaggery.

Ganapati and Gauri puja- Steamed Modak( Sweet rice/wheat flour dumplings with fresh coconut, jaggery and nuts) with ghee and also puranpoli- To increase good fat in the diet as the temperature is going to cool down.

Dasara/Dashahara- Shrikhand again.- Why? October heat demands something cold and high protein.

Kojagiri- Warm milk spiced with nutmeg and cardmom and safron with nuts- abundance of dairy and spices for immunity.

Diwali- All fried foods like chakli, sev, anarsa, karanji- Abundance of food and good fats for body’s increased demand to fight cold weather.

There completes the complete circle of main Maharshtrian festivals along with particular desserts! 🙂 Now you will ask, what about people’s favorite gulab jamun and jalebi? They were not prepared as a routine in any festival. They had place in weddings. I think too many people , so sugar syrup soaked desserts could stay for long time. Another thing that I came to know about Indian desserts is that they are served at the time of rest of the lunch or dinner and not after the meal like in Western method of serving. What this does is knowingly or unknowingly we have a portion control over our food intake ( Ok I am not talking about people who do not chew food but gulp food). Any extra carbohydrate load after a meal gets converted into fat. Aaanyway! Too long post! I know! But I hope this spreads knowlwedge about why “we ( Yes I call myself oldfashioned or in my dad’s language- I am music asia) insist on eating local foods and making local desserts at local festivals.”



Kojagiri ( Who is awake?)

                         This is a Maharshtrian festival that is not known much outside of Maharashtra. It is actually 16 days festival which ends on the full moon day in the month of October or November. ( month of Ashwin in Indian calendar) You can say it is similar to navratra in Gujarat or West Bengal. I am not totally sure about this festival, how it is performed but all I know is in Nagpur we used to see idols of shiv-parvati aka bhooloji and bhoolabai. I remember when I was staying in apartment complex in Nagpur, I had lot of friends of my age group. We used to play from evening till night in the small area in front of our apartment. During this festival all aunts and mom would go down their memory lane ( just like I am in right now) and enjoy their childhood games. They even tried to reach us their games which they specifically used to play in this festival. Let me see how much I remember.

                        It was girls festival/married women festival. All the newly wedded women would be at their parents house from Raakhi festival till Diwali festival. This bhoolabai festival would be an opportunity to meet all the friends and relatives in the evening everyday and have some fun. It would start with pooja of elephant on the first day and the pooja( offering ) of bhooloji -bhoolabai . Then games would start. At that time , they did not have any special mind games or race or competition. ( this is my interpretation) So it was kind of folk dance and it would have games of langdi( different methods of hopping on one foot), fugdi ( I can not explain it) , then playing with sticks( like navratri) and with supli .( Again I can not explain how to play with supli and what it is.)  The ladies used to sing songs which would mostly say how good are my parents as compared to in laws . They are funny songs. I still remember few lines of the songs that were taught by my mom and her friends. Few that I remember are akkan mati, karlyacha vel, yadavraya rani rusun baisali kaisi, zippra kutra soda ga bai, etc. Listening to these songs still bring smile to my face. I still remember my fight with my friend Snehal over how to end the  song Yaadavraya. The basic song is that everyone in the in laws come and asks the newly wed to come back to home. They offer different things but the newly wed does not want to go from her parents place. Finally her husband comes and asks her to come to “her home” and she agrees. That was the time me and Snehal would fight. She would say, if the girl is not listening, then husband is going to beat her to come home and she goes because of fear of getting beaten and my point was that husband is very nice and he says you are love of my life and as a token I am offering you mangalsutra made of pure gold. Newly wed is thrilled with her husband’s gesture and goes happily. And our fights would start. That was fun! 

                 After playing for sometime , then it would be time for snacks. Somebody would make small snack and would keep in a box and then everybody had to guess which snack  it would be . On the last day i.e. Full moon day, there would be masala doodh/ coffee with some snacks. And everybody would be staying late looking at the sky. Have you ever looked at moon on this full moon day? It looks amazingly beautiful. If you get a chance look at the sky. This year it is on 27th October. The masala doodh( spiced milk) is cooked in open space with all of the family sitting around and chatting. ( whole family not just girls/ women). It is said that those who are awake on the night of this full moon day are blessed with health and wealth by shiv-parvati. According to folk story they go around and bless those who are awake. That’s why it is called Kojagiri( who is awake). I don’t believe in it but I like the whole atmosphere created around this time of the year. It is little cold outside, there is a pot of boiling milk in the open area and all family members and chatting and singing songs. No loud music or songs. Artist in everyone would come out and there is love and laughter around . It is magic ! Special campfire I would say! And I love it till now.
       Even after going to Mumbai for post graduation , we resident doctors posted in one hospital had celebrated Kojagiri at night. That is another sweet memory pearl in my memory pearl collection.

   So what does it has to do with the health , you might ask. These festivals were startegically placed to enjoy and meet family members and friends. These create special bond and helps reducing stress. The folk dance also creates sense of unity and also helps in burning calories together so that one can enjoy nuts and seeds and special foods at night. 

I know, I have a dream. My kids when they will go to school( yet to be conceived, even though) , I am going to invite all of their friends and their parents for Kojagiri sleepover party. I am going to teach them about these games that tests strength and flexibility and also they will know how to be together . They will know about folk dance. And I know one day my kids would say -” those were wonderful games that my mom taught me. There were fun, laughter and love all around . I love those festivals”. 

Carbohydrates counting Part -2.

Sree said after reading my first part of carbohydrate counting is that I am inspired by Bahubali to write in two parts. Basically if I tell you everything in one part you won’t be able too grasp it.

Let’s start with counting.. Shall we?

Like I mentioned before 1gm of carbs will give 4 Calories. Also 60% of  protein will be converted into glucose usually after 2 hours of eating. If the food is rich in carbohydrates and proteins is bit lower then you don’t have to take account of protein but if you are not at all eating carbs and eating lots of protein ( I would say more than 15 GMs usually, but for me it is more than 6 GMs, so it varies with person) then protein is the factor which is going to determine the blood glucose level.

One rule is – do not eat more than 45 GMs of carbohydrates at any meal for woman and 60 GMs in males. Again it depends on the amount of activity you have done before and about to do in next couple of hours).

And snacks should be 0-15 GMs per snack time.

Now I am going to tell you about second meal effect. It is the effect observed when your previous meal has an effect on the next meal. For example if you eat low carbs ( and complex carbohydrates like whole grains) with protein and fat combination in breakfast, it will have a positive effect on the post lunch blood glucose. We can take advantage of it. How ? If fasting blood glucose is the challenge, try having early dinner and less amount of carbs (<30) in the dinner and not to have any carbs post dinner. Again please take it with a pinch of salt. ( Not literally!) My advice is about the person who is on insulin pump and can detect hypoglycaemia by themselves. Are we okay with this? Let’s move ahead.

If we are planning to eat Indian square meal- that is  roti, rice, daal, vegetable and dahi and salad, how to make around 45 gms carbohydrates meal? Fill half of your plate with vegetables ( cooked and raw), 1/4 th plate carbohydrates and 1/4 th plate proteins.

1/3rd cup cooked rice/ soji/ pasta- 15 gms carbohydrates.

30gm roti/ bhakri/ paratha/ bread – 15 gms carbohydrates each.

1/2 cup thick daal -15 gms carbohydrates and around 8-10 gms proteins.

120 gms paneer( 4oz) will have 16 gms of proteins.

1 cup dairy milk- 12-15 gms carbohydrates and 8 gms proteins.

Potatoes- 1 cup -26gms carbohydrates including skin and flesh .

Non starchy vegetables like cucumbers, leafy vegetables- 5 gms per cup.

Peanuts and other nuts- 30 gms(1 oz) – 5 gms carbohydrates.

When we eat chicken or fish- 1 piece of chicken or fish weighing around 120gms ( 4 oz) has around 28 gms of proteins! That’s a lot in a small piece. Here we would need to count carbohydrates in the chicken and the bolus would be dual wave/ multiwave bolus as blood glucose will remain high till 6-8 hours post eating.

I think this pretty much wraps the carbohydrate counting. Now you would ask what about fruits ? Aren’t they important part of life providing vitamins and minerals? Yes they are important. But on purpose I am not putting them. Why? I want you to search and measure and count for yourself. We learn and understand when we do it practically. Like I said I am health coach and not a health map. Coach guides student and shows the way but students have to play the game. Coach does not replace student and says I will do it instead of you since I had done it in the past. So my point is use your tools , use these guidelines and remain healthy. Best wishes from my side.

Counting carbohydrates for people with Diabetes mellitus- part 1

I know it is a boring title and the message in it is cliché. Sometimes it gets on my nerves to read even a line with nutritional advice in it. I get it. Especially from those who know nothing about body composition, biochemistry and physiology. Sometimes I want to scream at them!  But then I try to calm myself and Sree has to bear everything. Poor him! The story behind this post is my mother told me one day that there are people in India who are on insulin pumps but they have no idea about carbohydrate counting and managing insulin. I won’t call myself expert in it, I am still learning about carbohydrate counting. Whatever knowledge I have gathered being a person with type 1DM for 25 years, being on insulin pump for 8 years and being a Medical Doctor specializing in managing patients with diabetes, I am going to explain here in parts.

Why carbohydrate counting for patient with Diabetes Mellitus? Because major impact on blood glucose is by carbohydrates or starch that we eat. Proteins and fats also get converted into glucose too. Shocked? It is a reality. Let me put it this way – 1 gm of carbohydrate will get converted 100% into glucose.Out of 1 gm of protein that we eat 60% will be glucose in next 2-8 hours and out of 1 gm of fat, 10% of it into glucose in next 2-8 hours.

People with diabetes mellitus basically have a lot of fluctuations in blood glucose and that extra spill of blood glucose also causes our body to convert the glucose into triglycerides as a storage form in presence of insulin. Increase in blood glucose by eating more, followed by taking insulin for keeping blood glucose in control leads to increase in triglycerides and increase in weight. That is one of the reason people put on weight when they start using pump. I went through that and I don’t want you guys to go through it!

How much carbohydrates should we eat as a person with diabetes mellitus( also normal people who do not want diabetes.) – Less than 150 gms a day. Also it depends on how physical is your work. If the person is doing all the manual labor work then 150 gms would be low for him as he/she needs more carbohydrates for instant energy. If it is a sedentary work I would say go as low as possible without going into hypoglycemia. For in general carbohydrate counting you will need measuring cups at least 1/3rd cup and 1/2 cup, measuring spoons, small food scale. I know this is a lot, but trust me it is worth it. Remaining we will see in next blog post.