Regional Foods of India- Maharashtrian Food. Part- 1.

I am thinking about this topic from very long time. I come from a family of foodies. I love trying different foods. Sometimes one of my life partner comes in the way and make me feel guilty and depressed about it. Now I know few solutions how to keep him in check. As you can see eating carbohydrates and diabetes are kind of enemy , if you do not have something to gel them. For example not exceeding the limit of the meal, eating a lot of vegetables and good fat with our favorite meals, doing exercise 10-15 minutes before the high carb meal, doing walking 10-15 minutes after the meal, eating carb blocker with the meal etc. I know that is a lot to do with eating carbohydrates. People say that walking after meal helps in maintaining blood glucose, which I agree totally. But I know it is not a new concept. It has been in the Indian culture from ages. It is called “Shat-pavlya” i.e. walking least 100 steps after meal especially after dinner. As a child, when my mom and my dad asked us to do that believe me I used to think it is torture. Now I understand it was for my benefit that they asked us to do and my parents did with us. I am going off the topic. By genetic makeup I am carb reducer. So I need to eat less carbohydrates to support my blood glucose levels and my weight. All of the Indian vegetarian food is pretty much high carbs if you look at the current eating pattern and lifestyle. But if we tweak a bit in it, we can enjoy traditional Indian food too, with little guilt. ( Also follow the tips that I mentioned above.)

So here I am presenting my first Indian food dish which is from Maharashtra. India( where I am from.) It is moderate carbs, vegan/vegetarian depending on how you cook , gluten-free and nutritionally good if you include all the foods that I have shown in the picture.

IMG_0225This is one of the traditional maharashtrian thali- It has pithala ( made of chickpea flour, onions cooked and tempered with mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida for good digestion- high in protein)- 2/3rd cup cooked, 1 bajari bhakri ( it is gluten-free ,30 gms in weight) , 1/2 cup of vangyache bharit( It has roasted eggplant sauted with onions and garlic, and peas), 1 cup of radishes( vegetable which helps in digestion of bean protein), 1 tablespoon tilachi chutney( sesame chutney- toasted sesame seeds, raw garlic, red chillies, cumin, salt- a source of good fat, for heart health.).- Total carbohydrate comes to around 50 gm carbs. ( I include TAG always for insulin/ carb ratio).

Enjoy!!

Flourless, no sugar banana muffins.

I recently started trying new recipes without sugar or flour to cut the total carbohydrates in my diet to control my blood glucose. This recipe is quick, easy and can really satisfy sweet tooth. I use microwave safe small muffin tin. It is perfect portion size. You would not miss the sugar, I can guarantee you that. It is low-calorie, low carb and paleo. So let’s get started.

Ingredients we need. 1 ripe banana, 1 oz raw coconut, 1 tsp cinnamon powder, 1 large egg, 1/2 tsp baking powder.

It makes 6 small muffins.

IMG_0770Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl. It is more liquid than usual muffin mixture.

IMG_0772 Pour into  muffin pan and microwave till done. IMG_0774 Let it cool for 1 minute and then eat.

Nutritional Information: Per muffin:

Calories: 46 Carbohydrates: 5.4 Fiber – 1.01  Fat: 2.36 Protein: 1.38.

Indian Vegetarian Breakfast Options.

One of my aunt asked me about breakfast options for a person with diabetes mellitus and Indian vegetarian.( Lactovegetarian ). I wrote her an email and that gave me a topic to write in my blog. Thank you Kalpana Maoshi for the topic. Here are some examples along with tricks to make sure our blood glucose is stable over a long period of time and we are not cranky between breakfast and lunch.  Always make sure you have some vegetables and fruits in the breakfast. Half of the plate/bowl should be vegetables and quarter should be protein and one quarter should be grains/ pulses.
1. Vegetable upma/poha with some peanuts in it with greek yogurt( strained yogurt) and half plate of cucumber/carrots/tomatoes with slices of apple and oranges or any fruit.
2. Masala vegetable oats with peanut chutney and yogurt with veggies and fruits.
3. Yogurt with fruits and nuts and chia seeds. ( My favorite breakfast)
4. Moong daal idli with chutney and vegetable sambhar with vegetable sides.
5. Vegetable sandwich with vegetables and cheese slice and side of vegetables.
6. oats in yogurt like dahi bhat with cucumbers on the side.
7. Sprouted Brown Rice( mod aanlela haat sadicha tandool) with veggies and peanuts along with yogurt or make a kheer out of it without sugar and add fruits and cinnamon for the sweetness.
8. Breakfast smoothie- What we do is we mix 2 cups of raw spinach/Kale with 1 banana and an apple. All plant protein powder with flax seeds or other seeds and almond milk/soy milk. Blend it, divide it by 2 (for us) and drink it. You get 3 servings of fruits and vegetables along with protein and healthy fat.
9. Besan ka chila or moong pesaratu with vegetables and cheese or yogurt on the side.
10. Apple wiches and banana wiches with a cup of milk.
11. Whole grain bagel with cream cheese/ hummus along with veggies and a serving of fruit.
Basically you can have anything for your breakfast, just make sure to have half plate of vegetables and a quarter of protein on the side. This will keep your cool till you have lunch. I hope this helps all of us.

Happy New Year Everyone.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year. I hope everyone gets whatever they have asked for. May this year brings you health, wealth. I know it is almost end of January and I am wishing late. But hey everyday is a new day, that’s what I believe in and it will never be too late to wish anyone a very happy new year. Me and my husband have at least 3-4 new year celebrations every year spread over the year. It starts with English Calendar new year in January, then around March-April time frame we have Maharashtrian New Year called Gudi Padwa ( The region I belong to.), then around September there is business New Year and in October-November time, in Diwali we have Gujarati New Year.(I have a lot of Gujarati friends.) So you see I celebrate new year , year round. 😉 When it is new year, we have new resolutions.

This New Year started with few health challenges I had to face but now I am recovering from it. So my number 1 resolution is to get into optimal health. I gained few pounds when I went for my sister in law’s wedding in India. So my resolution is to become like previous one and I don’t have to worry. Because I know my genetic type for food and exercise. When I follow that pattern, losing weight is just a piece of cake. ( not putting in mouth 😉 ). 2nd resolution is to finish 24-30 self-help books by December 2015, and third is more disciplined in life. These are some of the resolutions for new year 2015. What are your resolutions?

Care of Feet.

This is one of the dear topic to me. I had prepared this presentation for one of the educational camps for children with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus organized by Juvenile Diabetic Parents Association of India. (JDPAI). There are some scary pictures in this presentation and I thought younger kids would be frightened. But they responded exceptionally well. They liked the idea of cartoon type appearance of the presentation and  some of the kids related to some of those pictures and told me that is exactly happened with my masi/aunty few days back. I was touched. I hope I can help other people get knowledge of foot care too. So here is my small contribution.

Disclaimer: People with Weak Heart should not see it. You should watch at your own risk.

And today is Halloween. Happy Halloween people. 🙂

 

 

 

 

CARE OF FEET

The centipede story.

Its seems like ages since I wrote something on my blog. I just remembered this story that I read about somewhere. And as if I got extra shot of energy. Here it goes.

Once upon a time, in a far far away jungle, animals and insects decided to play a football match. It was animals vs insects. Now you can surely guess , who is going to win.. Right? The match started. Insects did some goals and so animals. But the animals were winning. But of course. Insects were trying their best to score. After the interval, entered the centipede!! Are you ready for this? And that little centipede changed the game completely. He was all over the place. And the “Team Insect” won with a large difference. The centipede was a star of course. In the interview, the centipede was asked the obvious question – Where was he in the first half of the game? What took him so long? The centipede answered, “I was tying my shoes. And I came as soon as I finished tying them”.

What a beautiful story!!  Sometimes, when we feel down or feel that we are lagging behind in the game, we just have to keep in mind and imagine. ” We are centipedes and we are now tying shoes. Our time is here. We are the star of our match.”

 

 

Donation

Few days ago I lost my paternal granduncle. He was 80+ years old. I was not too close to him but I had met him couple of times and he had certainly impacted my life in a positive way. He was truly a gem of a person. He had a very different style of speaking (Always helping but witty). He was active participant of RSS. I don’t know how many sacrifices he had done for his nation but all I know is he was a giver. He always thought of good about people. He would help people physically, mentally and by bringing smile to person he was speaking to. There used to be bursts of laughter around him. From past few weeks I heard he was not well. He had paralysis and he lost voice. He became like a doll in the bed. And now he is no more. This is I think 13th day since he is gone. I am certainly feeling little bit empty and sorry for him but I am very proud of him. You know why? He donated his eyes and his body for helping mankind. I think he thought of other people even after his death. Very few people do that. He donated his body so that a  future doctor can learn and treat other people. My dad told me about what my granduncle did and my dad said, “Deepti, I am making my will. If something happens to me, I want to donate my body to the hospital.” I totally agreed to it. And why not? That is a noble thing to do. You can save so many lives even after you are gone. I wanted to share this with you guys to spread the noble things around and motivate other people too. I believe this is my way of offering my tribute to my granduncle and to tell my dad that I am proud of him.

There are different types of human tissue donation that can be done while we are alive and when we are dead.  (I know this may not be grammatically correct, but please understand what I want to say.) I remember, in one of the annual education camps for children with diabetes and their parents, organized by JDPAI (Juvenile Diabetic Parents Association of India) one teenager with type 1DM asked me – “Why can’t I donate blood? What can I donate then? Am I not useful?”

Don’t you feel a little something in your heart when a teenager asks this kind of questions? I answered “That’s a very nice thought dear. It is true that we (people with diabetes) can’t donate blood. That is because you and I take insulin or tablets for our health,  which may be bad for the person requiring blood in the emergency. But if we keep ourselves healthy; we can donate our eyes after death and we can certainly donate our body posthumously so that our skin can be useful for patients with burns and our body organs can be used by other people who need it. It also can be used for teaching young doctors about human body” and believe me that made that kid so happy and me too.

Now think this way. We are billions of people around the world. Of these many people, some are blind which can be cured with cornea transplant, many people need skin, kidneys, liver, heart, blood transplant to live. And there is always shortage of these tissues. Many need hair too. If we can donate blood when alive and organs and body posthumously we can help so many people. I know someone like me can’t donate blood. But I can donate my hair when I am alive!! I do not have to become bald for that. People need just 10-12 inches of hair. We all who have hair can donate. My sister-in-law, Smruti Deshpande is also growing her hair to donate. Sri’s cousins also did that.  I am proud of them. We go to salons to have different haircuts to look beautiful. Our hair just falls down in pieces over the floor. If we can donate hair at least once, the receiver of hair will bless us…

If we can donate blood then we should at least once a year. Our body does not get depleted. And also I urge everyone to become an organ donor and have it with you all the time. I am an organ donor and I am very proud of it. My driving license says that I am an organ donor. What does yours say? Even if your license does not say, you can always keep a note in your wallet that you want to become an organ donor and a cornea donor just in case nobody in your family knows or they are not around you. (God forbid this to happen, but you never know.)

Just by writing or saying that you are a donor does not mean your job is done! We have to keep ourselves healthy so that the recipient will have healthy organs. Always think these organs are for other people and take care of them. What is the use of giving all those organs which are of no use? I know I have written on very serious topic but this is an important thing to consider and act on it. Thank you Mama Ajoba (this is how I used to address my paternal granduncle) for what you have done. I am very proud of you. You have left behind a legacy. Rest in peace.

Idly vs Vada- Making a smart choice.

 

I am from Indian origin and I know, Indians especially from southern part of India love their Idlies, and Vadas with sambhar and coconut chutney. And there is a popular belief that, as idlies are steamed, they are healthy and ultimately they are like holy food which can be eaten in large quantities. And for person with diabetes, it is the best food for breakfast!! Let us investigate this in detail.. Shall we?

  1. Idly batter is usually 3 parts of parboiled rice/rawa along with 1 part of urad daal. ( 75% carbs with little protein.)
  2. Then rice and daal is soaked for 8-10 hours.
  3. Fermented for 8-10 hours. ( What does fermentation do: it breaks down complex carbohydrates into simple glucose. What you get ultimately is the batter with glucose formed along with bacteria.)
  4. Then there is a process of steaming. ( We kill the good bacteria we have as a probiotic and what remains is a steamed batter containing glucose. Blood glucose rise with one medium steam idly is comparable to eating 3-4 teaspoons of glucose directly. )

If a person is eating idly, he/she does not stop at two medium-sized idlies. Most people have to have 4-6 idlies.( I am talking about Indians.). The accompaniment is thin watery sambhar with less vegetables and daal  and coconut chutney. Coconut chutney actually helps in delaying the absorption of carbs.( Because it has fats and fiber and some nut protein.) But some dietitians/ nutritionist ask people to avoid chutney as it has fats. So mostly we end up eating lot of idlies with thin watery sambhar which practically has no protein. And because it is absorbed quickly, one gets hungry in less than 3 hours.

Now look at medu vada- made of urad daal only and no rice. ( so less carbs and more protein.) It is usually not fermented, so protein and carbs are intact. ( some people do ferment it. That is a different issue.) And then it is deep-fried. So the benefits that we get are

  1. Absorption of carbohydrate is slow
  2. Satiety level is more. You eat only 2-3 vadas at a time and you feel fuller for longer time.

And vada I am talking about is medium size, not giant ones.

Few people will say that calorie content of idly is less than vada. I agree. If we compare one medium size idly with one medium vada then absolutely Yes. But the punch line” No one can eat just one!” is also true for idly. A person eats at least 5-6 idlies for breakfast, followed by some food/snack or at least coffee in sometime. So if we compare the real calorie intake with idlies with vadas, vada wins here. Does this mean to give up idly for life. NO. Absolutely not.  Here are few suggestions.

1. Limit or cut idly intake to just 2-3.

2. Make a thicker sambhar with more toor daal  and lots of vegetables like tomatoes, onions, drumstick, eggplant, carrots, zucchini.( All five colors are available through this sambhar. How about that! 🙂 )

3. Eat 2 tbsp homemade coconut chutney with it. Do not over do it.

Or try my version of idly with thick sambhar and chutney. Of course eat these idlies in limited quantities too. I have not used fermentation technique or any grains in it. It is totally pulses based idly. I hope you like it. Suggestions, comments are welcome.

 

No fermentation No grain idly

 

Ingredients:   1) 1 cup moong daal- soak in water for 3-4 hours.

2) 1 cup urad daal- soak in water for 3-4 hours along with some fenugreek seeds( about 1/4th teaspoon).

Procedure :

Grind both daals individually with very little water to make a fine paste.

Mix both daals together. make batter  as thick as possible.

Put some cloth in individual idly molds so that this batter will not run down through holes in the molds.

Steam them for 10-12 minutes.

Cool them and enjoy with hot sambhar and chutney.

I usually do not add salt in the batter but if you like you can add it.  These idlies are not be as fluffy as regular fermented idlies but surely are better nutritionally.

 

A person is Diabetic or a person has a diabetes- What is the right way to address?

   I have completed my 23 years of journey with Type 1 diabetes mellitus in the march of 2014 and I am looking forward to celebrate 25 years successful marriage with it.  I had seen diabetes as a 7 year old kid going to my friends birthday party and telling their parents not to give me sweets or cake during party. My parents had struggled to manage two kids with type 1 diabetes mellitus. I had been referred previously a diabetic child. Or Deepti is diabetic. All the doctors , nurses, relatives calling you a diabetic all the time. You might say- “So? How is that different from being Deepti has a diabetes or Deepti with diabetes? Isn’t that just play of words?” 

     Well..It might be just play of words for you “normal” people..But that play of words unknowingly makes the huge impact on the person who is actually living the life. Do you think about it? As a kid I had developed self image before that ” I am Diabetic. So I am not good enough to help others. I would be dependent on other people and always would be asking for help.” LIttle did I know that I was thinking wrong just because fell for play of words Diabetic. Even the identification cards that I had to carry with me said in bold red letters.” I AM DIABETIC”  Even now people call other people diabetic or themselves as diabetic. That is so wrong!! Seriously!!!

     A person should never be labelled. Yes. I agree that my Beta cells in the endocrine pancreas are not working and that I have deficiency of insulin. But I am not dead pancreatic beta cells. I am still alive. I breath. I dance. I think. I argue. I just do same as any other people do. Diabetes is a part of my life. Period. It is not my life. That’s why I call myself that I have Type 1 Diabetes and not that I am type 1 Diabetic.

  Ok. For an adult with diabetes saying that might be a trivial thing. But for a kid who has been diagnosed with diabetes, that creates a huge positive difference. It says ” Hey kid, I know that you have diabetes. But that is not the end of the world. That is a part of your life. You still have your dreams and your goals to achive. Go ahead. I am with you.”

   When I started exchanging emails with my husband when we first met virtually.( that is another story to tell.) I argued with him for I think an hour on how should we address ourselves. And I impressed him with it. And now whenever he meets other people saying the word “Diabetic”  he immediately corrects them. This is also true for parents introducing their child to others. Because a kid develops self image when he/she hears how his/her parents introduce their kid. The ideal way to introduce is “My kid is so and so.He/She has a diabetes and I am so proud that he/she takes such a good care of himself/herself “. Say it in front of the kid. The positive boost will definitely help the kid for the better future. So all my readers, followers and visitors , would you please spread this message to all the people you know?  They will thank you and you will feel good. Have a blessed life. 🙂