NuttyYogi — Immunity

Dadima ke gharelu nushke/old wine in a new bottle

Dadima ke gharelu nushke/old wine in a new bottle 0

Once upon a time... There was an advertisement that showed the baby crying incessantly.
The grandmother asks the child’s mother the reason for the baby to cry and tells her to give
gripe water with this famous dialogue...
“Main Bhi toh tujhe vo hi deti thi jab tu choti thi”
This ad became such a hit in every household that the products started selling like hot cakes. During our times, we were given carom seeds (ajwain) tea to drink, it used to be a natural painkiller, relieves gas and bloating. (I take it even now) Taking a look back, when I was nursing my baby. I was a new mother, learning the tricks of the trade. Loads of advice, tips given by my granny really helped me pass this phase.This article explores many such home remedies given by the grandmothers throughout the world - some conventional and others non-conventional.

Garlic for cold
A homemade cough syrup followed by many grandmothers in the Dominican republic. A boiled concoction of garlic, onion and honey, a tsp to be taken daily. It is a great decongestant, prevents throat irritation and suppresses cough (of course, along with the bad breath which automatically creates social distancing)
In India, the most common is tulsi leaves, its juice is mixed with honey and given to infants having a cold and cough. Another sure shot medicine is the kadha - a bitter spicy herbal tea made from spices like ginger, pepper, clove, cinnamon, carom seeds that has the reputation of killing germs of all kinds. Just close your nose and gulp down the kadha in one shot. It not only releases the sputum but also gives a good night's sleep.

Lettuce for a good night’s sleep
The grandma’s of Puerto Rico had a unique way to induce sleep in hyperactive kids. Boil lettuce leaves in the water, strain, add a bit of sugar, let the kids drink it warm. Lettuce contains a phytonutrient called lactucarium, which is said to induce sleep. Meanwhile we in India grew up drinking the traditional recipe of turmeric latte/haldi ka doodh containing milk, turmeric, black pepper, sugar/jaggery to be consumed warm. Post that anyone could hear you snoring away to glory!!!

Rice for ear pain
An age-old remedy for getting relief from the ear pain which used to frequent in childhood was raw rice. Take a heapfull of raw rice in socks, heat it over a stove top and place over the infected ear. In the times where hot compress was not available, heated rice was used to give relief and bring down the inflammation.
Another ‘upai’ was to crush garlic pods, cover them with cotton and place them in each ear. The fumes from the crushed garlic had the ability to kill the germs and bring relief from the pain. Many of these dadima ke nuskhe still work. The pharmaceutical company has taken these age-old formulas to prepare cough syrups, cough drops, and antacids medicines.

During the time where access to medical care and medicine was limited and costly. Grandmas would look for foods and herbs in their own gardens and pantries that contained healing properties to fight off illnesses..
Thanks to them, we developed natural immunity against the common infections unlike the generation now, who pops a pill for every small ache and pain. It is required to bring back the age-old remedies for better health and immunity in today’s time where covid has brought back the emphasis on one's health.

Traditional Dining Practices Leads To Weight Loss

Traditional Dining Practices Leads To Weight Loss 0

ONCE UPON A TIME I was invited to a naming ceremony for my grandmother’s friend’s daughter. I was very young at that time and excited to wear a beautiful dress and adorn myself with flowers and jewellery. I was even more excited at the prospect of a wide spread of sweets, snacks, varieties of rice preparations etc served over a banana leaf.

The only thing I dreaded was sitting down on the floor cross legged! 

It's been just a couple of minutes of sitting cross legged that i felt that there was no feeling in my right leg at all. I just wanted to stretch my leg when I saw a glimpse of my granny giving me a stern eye. This made me fold my legs again and sit straight :)

All that practice paid off and even now I sit on the floor cross legged to have my meals although we do have a dining table and chairs (I can manage to sit like that for an hour now).

But why punish myself this way?

Well, there is a scientific basis to sitting cross legged on the floor. Did you know, this traditional way of dining can teach you to eat mindfully and help you to lose weight.

In an age when there were no dining tables, everyone sat on floor while having food and very few suffered from lifestyle diseases that have become so rampant in our times

According to the experts, sitting on the floor strengthens the lumbar region of the body. Digestive juices are secreted in the stomach, which gets ready for processing the food. 

It is more of a blessing than a punishment…

Science supports tradition

Many research articles have been published in international journals about the benefits of our traditional dining practices.

Sitting on the floor and eating also makes you mindful of the amount of food that you are eating. Sitting cross legged stimulates the vagus nerve to send signals to the brain about the feeling of fullness which prevents you from overeating. This in turn can help in weight loss.

The digestion process is also better at preventing gastric issues or bloating. 

So it is ok to chuck the dining set and use the floor (saves money too!)

To conclude:

To eat is a necessity but to eat intelligently is an art  - La Rochefoucauld

Winter Foods

Winter Foods 0

With the days becoming shorter and nights getting longer, 

When you decide to get the warm clothes out of the closet,

When you feel like having that warm cuppa

And snuggling up in that warm blanket,

You know that the winter season is slowly creeping in!

What food do we generally associate with winter? A plate of hot pakodas and a cup of masala chai, yummmm…

Winter is the season to have warm foods. It is also the season where we all go through a bout of flu due to the cold weather and an active population of microbes in the atmosphere.

Here are a few tips to boost our immunity and keep us healthy throughout the season.

Nature gives us an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables especially during the winter months. A good intake of the seasonal fruits and vegetables gives us enough vitamins and minerals to boost our immunity. Some of this seasonal produce that we need to include on a daily basis - 

  • Oranges, sweet lime, guava, grapes and strawberry
  • Seasonal fruits, rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and minerals like potassium, zinc, magnesium and iron. Not only these nutrients help to build up the immunity but they are also helpful in ensuring that the metabolic processes happen smoothly in the body.

  • Gooseberry
  • A sure shot way to beat the virus that tries to invade your body. Its antimicrobial properties make it a potent immune booster. Have it in the form of pickle/just plain with some spices and your body will surely thank you for this wonderful goodie.

  • Seasonal veggies
  • Carrots and peas are abundantly available and so are roots like sweet potato, tapioca, yam etc. They are energy dense vegetables ideally to be had during winter to give the body enough energy to fight against the cold and windy weather. 

  • Soups and herbal teas
  • Since cold weather does not stimulate thirst, many of us end up feeling dehydrated and fatigue at the end of the day. Including warm drinks like soups and herbal teas not only adds nutrition but also keeps us hydrated. Herbal teas made with tulasi, big thyme/ajwain leaves/ cinnamon/ cloves/ ginger etc give warmth to the body and prevent infections. Soups made with sweetcorn/mushroom/chicken/mixed vegetables not only give comfort but can be filling and provide loads of nutrition. Don't forget to take small sips of warm water throughout the day.

  • Whole grains
  • Bajra/pearl millet is the one to go in for. Not only is Bajra high in protein, iron and fibre but it also has a warming effect on the body. So adding bajra flour to your rotis/cheelas/theplas/dosa/bhakri will magnify the health benefits of that food. 

  • Haldi vala doodh
  • A drink that will take you to your childhood days when your mother/grandmother used to prepare this to help you manage cold/cough. Antimicrobial action of turmeric, black pepper that soothes the throat and the warm comforting milk is all you require to get a good night’s sleep. 

  • Nuts 
  • Gond ka ladoo is very famous in North India and is consumed specially during winters to give the body protection against the winter chill. It is also given to lactating mothers to boost the milk supply and provide warmth to the body. It is made using edible gum, dried fruits like almond, pista and seeds like poppy seeds, watermelon seeds etc and ghee. 

    Including these foods during this chill weather can help you deal with the extreme season. Apart from the food, keeping yourself warm, getting sufficient sleep and doing moderate exercises will help you to stay fit and ward off any infections that you may get. 

    Eat right and enjoy the chill!

    • Pallavi Gupta
    • Tags: Immunity
    Marrying Ayurveda to Modern day Diets

    Marrying Ayurveda to Modern day Diets 0

    Marrying Ayurveda to Modern day Diets 

    There is no denying that currently we are on a roller coster ride full of new diets and fads. These include diets of cleanse, superfoods, clean eating, detox and the list can go on. What we forget is that Indian Ayurveda had known and practised this science generations ago and there is a vast treasure of knowledge what we have had all along. Ayurveda, an age-old Indian science, has secrets to clean, healthy lives that don't need you to spend excessively on every new health fad, and can be accessed through one's everyday kitchen.

    Ayurveda talks about elements our body is build of air, water, fire, ether and earth and the misbalances these elements get into - the doshas - Vata, Pitha and Kapha! The key is to eliminate or reduce the dosha and achieve a state of harmony. All foods many not suit us despite being inherently healthy and safe to consume. So how to do we really figure whats good for us. 

    There are two simple choices in front of us. We go to a Ayurvedic practitioner and get our dosa checked and go as per recommended diets for the same. Or better still start listening to our bodies. Is the red rice we just had, actually made us feel lighter or heavier. How did we emotionally feel after consuming a particular food group at the time of the day. If we felt lighter, energetic, happy. We can listen to our internal gut system. 

    Going on a diet should not be a mind game but mindful eating would actually lead us to the bliss we are looking from a healthier body…..


    Pearly Barley Risotto

    Pearly Barley Risotto 0

    From this point forward, barley will be your new best friend. Unlike plain white rice, pearl barley is an excellent source of fibre and protein, to keep you full and energised longer.

    2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
    1/2 Cup Diced Shallots or Onions
    2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
    1 cup mixed Mushrooms of all the types available.
    1 Teaspoon Nutty Yogi Italian Seasoning or mixed herbs of your choice
    1/2 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
    1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
    1 Cup Pearl Barley (soaked overnight and par boiled)
    4 - 4 1/2 Cups Vegetable Stock
    2 Tablespoons Balsamic, Apple Cider, or Red Wine Vinegar
    1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast (for vegan options) // Parmesan

    Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once melted or shimmering, add onions and saute until softened and translucent; about 5 - 6 minutes.
    Mix in all the herbs and seasonings, followed by the barley. Stir thoroughly and saute for 4 - 5 minutes longer to gently toast the grains. Gently pour 4 cups of the stock in, followed by the vinegar. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let cook for 30 - 35 minutes, until the grains are tender and the liquid has almost entirely been absorbed.
    Add the cheese cooking for just a minute
    Turn off the heat and stir in the creamy finish of your choice. Serve hot!

    #nuttyyogi #risotto #barley#healthyeating #healthyliving #italian#nuttyfood
    Turmeric beyond curries!

    Turmeric beyond curries! 0

    Turmeric beyond curries!

    While the world has got up and taken notice of this amazing Indian spice called Turmeric, it surprises me how well we know our very own haldi.

    Since the childhood, we have seen this in almost 100% of our curries, infact the ubiquitous yellow –red curries have been the main colour on our plates.

    Come the health buff’s era and we soon realise turmeric and its key ingredient curcumin is a wonder spice. Anti Inflammatory, Anti – bacterial, Anti – fungal, anti – disease, its list of fighting capabilities go on and on.

    So what really makes it so special and how we can really use it beyond our curries.

    Lets go down the memory lane and jog a few memories. Do we remember the Haldi Doodh (Golden Turmeric Milk) we saw are grand fathers have every night. Legend goes that freshly ground raw turmeric added into milk would heal the body from within and keep one away from infections. The same would be offered to any one who would have a cut or a bruise or had simply come from a village fight. Antibiotics soon took over and the so not appetising Haldi doodh went into oblivion. Circa 2012 onwards we find westerners discover the magic of golden milk in form of Turmeric Latte a coffeish version of our haldi doodh. Starbucks puts into its menu and now it’s the latest health drink to hit the circuit.

    Another one we would all remember for is the Haldi – Honey spoonful. Feeling as if you are coming down with a cold? Itchy, scratchy throat? Didn’t have the lozenges or cough syrups to reach out to the dadi ma would quickly bring her ancient wisdom to the fore. Mix a teaspoon of turmeric and a teaspoon of honey and just lick up the golden mixture of pure goodness! While the popular style in India currently is to have Turmeric Infused Honey, we see many drug and confectionary companies dishing out turmeric filled toffees.

    Indians love their pickles and chutneys and don’t we need to have them with every meal. For the health aficionados, the nutrition companies have taken out a unique way to satisfy the spice loving taste buds and provide health and nutrition in equal measure – The raw turmeric pickles and chutneys. Have a spoonful of rich turmeric in a mix of spices have a happy heart and satisfy your mind too.

    For the unitiated and the ones who lead a very busy lifestyle some nutraceutical companies have cur cumin extracts in tablets form for the daily dose. Although the healthy buff in me says, go grab a teaspoon of raw, freshly ground pure haldi and just have it every morning.


    A few Recipes

    Raw Turmeric & Ginger Pickle

    Raw Turmeric – finely chopped – ½ cup

    Ginger – finely chopped – ½ cup

    Green chillies – finely chopped – 2

    Juice of 1 lemon

    Salt to taste

    Mix all the ingredients well. Let the flavours mingle for around 15 minutes. The pickle is ready!

    This goes well with plain kichadi or curd rice. Store the pickle in an air tight container and keep it refrigerated. Consume within a week.

    Turmeric Milk or shall we call it Latte?

    Ditch that cappuccino and grab a mug of Turmeric Latte!

    Our version:

    Milk – 1 cup

    Water – ¼ cup

    Turmeric – 1 tspn

    Pepper powder – 3/4th tspn

    Sugar / Honey – to taste

    In a saucepan – boil water with the turmeric powder and pepper powder till the water has almost evaporated. Pour the milk and bring it to a boil. Add sugar/honey to suit your taste.

    This is a powerful infection fighter! My son sometimes has a fake coughing bout just to get a mug of the delicious turmeric latte!

    I use normal milk – but feel free to use the milk of your choice


    • Pallavi Gupta
    • Tags: Immunity


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