Luteal Phase Balls (Seed Cycle)

Print

Luteal Phase

  • Author: Banhishikha Roy
  • Prep Time: 10 - 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 - 25 minutes
  • Yield: 14

Description

Part 2 starts from: Day 15- Day 28 of the cycle- (Luteal phase)

Homemade Vegan seed cycling energy balls help to balance your hormones for a healthy menstrual cycle. Made with Sunflower seeds, Sesame Seeds, dates, spices, almond butter, and oats. A delicious and easy way to add seed cycling into your routine!

Seed cycling is a natural way to balance your hormones via food during different phases of your menstrual cycle. Many women struggle with a difficult menstrual cycle such as painful periods, cramps, fatigue, bloating, acne, body aches, breast soreness, irregular cycles, PMS, heavy or light bleeding, infertility, and more. These symptoms are not normal. These symptoms usually take place when there is some kind of hormonal imbalance.

Sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are high in selenium, lignans, and omega-3, which support liver function and proper hormone excretion, regulate estrogen and progesterone levels, and reduce inflammation. Also, sesame seeds are high in zinc and sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E, which both support progesterone production.


Ingredients

  • Sunflower seeds – ¼ th cup (50 g)
  • Sesame Seeds- ¼ th cup (50 g)
  • Almond Butter- 10 g
  • Almonds – 10 pcs
  • Rolled Oats – ½ Cup (100 gms)
  • Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp
  • Dates – 3 – 4

Instructions

  1. Heat a thick-bottomed frying pan or skillet. Keep the heat to low or medium and add almonds, sesame seeds, and Sunflower seeds to the pan.
  2. Stir it at intervals, and dry roast the ingredients in the pan.
  3. Keep roasting the ingredients, till it becomes crunchy.
  4. Remove the pan from the stovetop and let the ingredients cool down to room temperature.
  5. When the ingredients cool down to room temperature, add the ingredients to a grinder jar.
  6. Grind all the ingredients in a mixer grinder, except almond butter and sesame seeds.
  7. Take the balls mixture on a plate or tray, add almond butter to it and mix it well.
  8. Now, take a small portion of the ball mixture in your palms and shape it into a Ball.
  9. Make this seed cycle balls with the rest of the mixture.
  10. Roll the balls on the sesame seeds, and refrigerate them.
  11. Serve healthy seed cycle balls, in the luteal phase.

Notes

Best time to consume it is in the morning hours, as a mid-morning snack. Try this amazing seed cycle recipe for not only maintaining hormonal imbalance but for overall health as well.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2
  • Calories: 151.8 Kcal
  • Sodium: 1.36 mg
  • Fat: 8 - 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12 - 14 g
  • Fiber: 5 - 6 g
  • Protein: 7-8 g

Share the article

Follicular phase Balls (Seed Cycle)

Print
Seed cycle balls

Follicular phase Balls

  • Author: Banhishikha Roy
  • Prep Time: 10 - 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 15 - 20 minutes
  • Yield: 14

Description

Part 1 starts from: Day 1-Day 14 of the period cycle- (Follicular phase)

Homemade Vegan seed cycling energy balls help to balance your hormones for a healthy menstrual cycle. Made with seeds, dates, spices, almond butter, and oats. A delicious and easy way to add seed cycling into your routine!

Seed cycling is a natural way to balance your hormones via food during different phases of your menstrual cycle. Many women struggle with a difficult menstrual cycle such as painful periods, cramps, fatigue, bloating, acne, body aches, breast soreness, irregular cycles, PMS, heavy or light bleeding, infertility, and more. These symptoms are not normal. These symptoms usually take place when there is some kind of hormonal imbalance.

Pumpkin seeds and flax seeds are high in zinc and lignans, which naturally support estrogen production, help clear excess estrogen from the body, and prepare the body for progesterone secretion in the next phase. Both the seeds are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids and other minerals which help to reduce inflammation.


Ingredients

  • Flaxseeds – ¼ th cup (50 g)
  • Pumpkin Seeds- ¼ th cup (50 g)
  • Almond Butter- 10 g
  • Almonds – 10 pcs
  • Rolled Oats – ½ Cup (100 gms)
  • Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp
  • Dates – 3 – 4

Instructions

  1. Heat a thick-bottomed frying pan or skillet. Keep the heat to low or medium and add almonds, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds to the pan.
  2. Stir it at intervals, and dry roast the ingredients in the pan.
  3. Keep roasting the ingredients, till it becomes crunchy.
  4. Remove the pan from the stovetop and let the ingredients cool down to room temperature.
  5. When the ingredients cool down to room temperature, add the ingredients to a grinder jar.
  6. Grind all the ingredients in a mixer grinder, except almond butter.
  7. Take the balls mixture on a plate or tray, add almond butter to it and mix it well.
  8. Now, take a small portion of the ball mixture in your palms and shape it into a ball.
  9. Make balls with the rest of the mixture, and refrigerate them.
  10. Serve healthy seeds balls, in the follicular phase.

Notes

Best time to consume it is in the morning hours, as a mid-morning snack. Try this amazing seed cycle recipe for not only maintaining hormonal imbalance but for overall health as well.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2
  • Calories: 145.65
  • Sodium: 4.5 - 5 g
  • Fat: 8 - 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12 - 14 g
  • Fiber: 3.5 - 4 g
  • Protein: 6 g

Share the article

Mango Shrikhand

Print

Mango Shrikhand

  • Author: Banhishikha Roy
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 to 3 Hours
  • Total Time: 3 Hours 10 mins
  • Yield: 3
  • Category: Indian
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Description

Mango Shrikhand, popularly known as Amrakhand is a delicious mango flavored twist to the traditional plain Shrikhand recipe. Shrikhand is a popular Indian dessert made with Greek Yogurt, also called hung curd. It can be served plain, but when prepared with mango, it is called Amrakhand or Keri Matho. It is usually made using 5 simple ingredients – yogurt, mango puree, saffron, powdered sugar, and ground cardamom.

This mango sweet dish is quite popular in Gujarati and Maharashtrian households and is served as a dessert after everyday meals. It is also prepared for special occasions and festivals like Gudi Padwa, Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, etc. Mango Shrikhand is one of the summer desserts to make when mangoes are in season. The combination of yogurt, sweet mangoes and the aroma of cardamom and saffron makes this an irresistible dessert! The recipe has been made without using sugar to make it a healthy recipe.


Ingredients

  • Curd or yogurt1 Cup
  • Mangoes (medium-sized, peeled and chopped) – 1/3 rd
  • Green cardamoms (seeds removed and lightly crushed in mortar-pestle) – 1 to 2
  • Saffron strands – 2 to 3
  • Honey (Optional) – 1 tsp
  • Almonds (Chopped) – 4 to 5
  • Raisins (Chopped) – 3 to 4

Instructions

  1. First, take 1 cup of home-made curd or yogurt in a muslin or cheese cloth or a cotton kitchen napkin.
  2. Now tie the cloth tightly and hang the curd for 2 to 3 hours. You can choose to hang the cloth under a faucet in the kitchen wash basin. You can also hang the curd in the fridge. Let, the whey drip, keep a bowl or pan below to collect the whey. You can also choose to keep for more time like 5 to 6 hours.
  3. After 2 to 3 hours you will get to see a thick curd is left behind.
  4. Peel and chop 1/3 rd of a medium-sized mango and make puree out of it in a blender.
  5. In the same blender with the mango puree, also add the thick hung curd.
  6. Collect it in a bowl. Add 1 to 2 powdered green cardamoms seeds and 2 to 3 saffron strands.
  7. Blend till the mixture is smooth and even.
  8. Chill the Mango Shrikhand in the refrigerator and serve in bowls. You can also add some chopped almonds and raisins as a garnish while serving.

Notes

Note: If you plan to use greek yogurt move on to step 5.

Tip: If using greek yogurt, add about 1 to 1.25 cups of it to the mango puree and flavorings. Blend till smooth.

Tips: Try to avoid adding sugar, instead you can use 1tsp of honey for this recipe. Tinned mangoes or mango pulp can be used instead of mango fruit.

Tips: Hung curd (yogurt): Use fresh curd, not the one that has gone sour. While hanging the curd, choose a large bowl so that the bottom of the muslin or cloth doesn’t come in contact with the bottom of the bowl. Make sure to refrigerate the hung curd in a lidded bowl if you are not using it right away.  Variations: You can make a vegan Shrikhand by substituting your dairy milk with coconut milk yogurt, non-dairy Greek yogurt or any plant-based milk yogurt.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 130 - 135 kcal
  • Sodium: 33 - 35 mg
  • Fat: 1 gm
  • Carbohydrates: 15 - 18 gm
  • Fiber: 1.5 - 1.8 g
  • Protein: 5 - 6 gm

Share the article

Seed Cycling for hormonal balance

“If you are experiencing problems like Irregular Menstrual Cycle, PMS, Heavy Bleeds, then this Article is surely for You”

What is a Seed Cycle?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the major endocrinopathy among reproductive-aged women, is not yet perceived as an important health problem in the world. It affects 4%–20% of women of reproductive age worldwide. The number of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) cases is increasing, not only among the age group between 20 to 40 but also among young girls. Menopausal symptoms in women and increasing issues of infertility due to hormonal imbalance.

Seed cycling is a naturopathic remedy that is claimed to balance hormones by regulating estrogen in the first half of your menstrual cycle and the hormone progesterone in the second half. Its purported health benefits include helping to regulate periods, reducing Acne, treating polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and infertility, and easing symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, and mood swings. It can improve thyroid hormone levels, hair health, weight Loss, water retention, and cellulite.

Seed Cycle
Photo by Egal from Unplash

Seed Cycling chart is great for those who currently experience regular menstruation cycles as well as who are facing Irregular menstruation cycles. A regular menstruation cycle includes a period that occurs approximately at the same time each month (every 28 days for example) & a period that lasts 4 – 6 days. For those currently experiencing irregular cycles, are perimenopausal or postmenopausal try to follow a diet plan by dietitians.

Seed cycling corrects the hormonal balance and hence helps manage the hormone-related clinical symptoms which include:

  1. Acne
  2. Light bleeding / Heavy bleeding
  3. Depression
  4. Endometriosis
  5. Infertility
  6. Low libido
  7. Painful periods
  8. Fatigue
  9. Thyroid disorders
  10. PMS
Photo by Nataliya Lakubovaskaia From Unplash

Healthy Menstrual Cycle and Hormonal Imbalance

In a regular cycle, estrogen is produced during the first 14 days of the follicular phase as eggs in the ovaries ripen. The levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) increase just before ovulation, and estrogen levels drop just after ovulation. Once an egg has been released, the luteal phase starts, and progesterone and estrogen levels gradually increase in a careful balance to support conception and implantation. They drop again before the next period if no implantation occurs.

Estrogen and progesterone are two of the key hormones that help regulate your menstrual cycle. Estrogen levels rise during the first half of the cycle, and progesterone levels rise (as estrogen levels decline) during the second half of your cycle. As you approach menopause, your hormone levels may start to fluctuate more erratically. After menopause, the production of both hormones settles at a significantly lower level. Additionally, during menopause, levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease, which increases the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis and can lead to symptoms like hot flashes and weight gain. Most women produce adequate levels of hormones to support a healthy cycle. However, certain health conditions, such as PCOS and hypothyroidism, as well as over-exercising and being under-or overweight, can lead to a hormonal imbalance.

Hormonal Imbalance can occur due to Hypothyroidism, PCOS, incorrect lifestyle, sleep deprivation, consumption of junk food, low water intake, and chronic stress. Along with the above-explained seed cycle, it’s important to work on the root cause. It all comes down to following a correct lifestyle and addressing the root cause. Always remember the hormonal imbalance did not occur overnight hence its correction will also take time.

Protocol For Seed Cycling

The first half of your menstrual cycle is FOLLICULAR PHASE and begins with the first day of your period (day 1). The second half of your cycle is the LUTEAL PHASE and begins the day after ovulation (day 15).

Seeds boost estrogen levels in the first phase and boost progesterone levels in the second phase. Seed hulls contain lignans, which help bind up excess hormones. Seed oils contain essential fatty acids that provide the building blocks for making hormones.

Follicular Phase

Day 1 to 14

The follicular phase begins on the first day of menstruation. Estrogen levels start low and steadily increase to prepare for ovulation. Flaxseeds are a great way to keep estrogen levels in balance. As a bonus, if estrogen levels get too high, the lignans in the flax seeds bind to the excess estrogen and help it to be eliminated from the body. Adding pumpkin seeds, which are high in zinc, can help support progesterone production in the next phase.

Omega-3 fatty acids are also beneficial during this phase to reduce inflammation and support reproductive functions. Eating lots of high-quality, wild-caught fatty fish or taking a high-quality fish oil supplement is a good idea.

Seed Cycling Protocol: 1 tablespoon of flax seeds and  1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds per day. Also, take high-quality Omega-3 fatty acids or eat cold-water fish like salmon or halibut at least once a week.

Luteal Phase

Day 15 to 28

The luteal phase begins right after ovulation. After ovulation, there is a sudden drop in estrogen, and progesterone levels begin to steadily rise. Estrogen will also increase during this phase, and if it gets too high, PMS symptoms and painful periods can occur. Progesterone helps keep estrogen in balance, and sesame and sunflower seeds help support the progesterone. Sesame seeds, which are high in zinc and selenium, block excess estrogen. Sunflower seeds, which are high in vitamin E, support progesterone levels. Quality gamma-linolenic acids (GLAs) are also beneficial during this phase to boost progesterone and reduce inflammation. Taking a high-quality evening primrose oil supplement is also a good idea during this phase.

Seed Cycling Protocol: 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds. Also, Try to consume evening primrose oil.

Benefits Of Seed Cycle

Different seeds contain different types and amounts of lignans and essential fatty acids. Lignans help out the body bind up excess hormones whereas fatty acids help with hormone production. Together they work on balancing hormones throughout the entire menstrual cycle.

It is best to have Flax and Pumpkin seeds during the first phase of your menstrual cycle & Sesame and Sunflower seeds during the second phase.

Flax & sesame seeds are full of lignans which block excess estrogens. Sunflower seeds are high in selenium, a trace mineral that is essential for the liver’s detoxification processes. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc which supports progesterone release. Together, these seeds will balance your cycle when taken in the appropriate phases of your cycle.

Seed cycling can be effective for women who are menstruating, pre-menopause, postpartum, and post-menopause. While you may see improvement in your first month of seed cycling, it usually takes about 3-4 cycles (months) to begin feeling significant changes. It’s helpful to continue cycling even after you have noticed substantial improvement. Be consistent, disciplined, and have faith. You should observe improvement in your mood, cravings, and cramping initially. Later the period cycle will become consistent along with less water retention, reduced breast soreness, and very few breakouts.

Photo by Mizina fron Unplash

Seed Cycling Summary:

Days 1 to 14:

  • 1 tbsp flax seeds or 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds per day, alternating days.
  • A daily omega-3 supplement or cold water fish at least once each week.

Days 15 to end of the cycle:

  • 1 tbsp sesame or 1 tbsp sunflower seeds per day, alternating days.
  • Daily evening primrose oil supplement

Share the article

Food cravings : How to combat them

Food cravings is an intense desire for a specific food. This desire can seem uncontrollable, and a person may feel as though they cannot satisfy their hunger until they get that particular food. Food craving is thought to mediate uncontrolled eating behavior, such as seen in obesity, binge eating disorder, and bulimia nervosa.

Do you eat “well” all day, but can’t put down the box of cookies at night? Or a handful of chips? Or a spoonful of peanut butter? I am going to share with some tips…

What is Cravings?

Craving, a construct that is primarily known from addiction research, refers to a subjective motivational (‘wanting’) state promoting substance-seeking and ingestive behaviors. Drug craving is generally believed to contribute to the transition from casual to compulsive drug use, persistence of addictive behaviors, and relapse in substance-dependent patients who are abstinent from drugs of abuse.

What is Food Cravings?

Food craving is generally defined as an intense desire to eat a specific food item. Different types of food cravings have been described, from craving for chocolate, being the most frequently craved food, to craving for all sorts of palatable, mostly sweet and/ or high-fat foods.

Photo by Ready-made from Pexel

Cravings in Overweight?

In overweight dieters, this craving for food is thought to be involved in the inability to comply with a low-calorie diet, resulting in relapse to initial over-eating patterns. In addition, in non-clinical samples, food craving has been found to be related to body weight, suggesting a ubiquitous role of craving in food consumption.

Body or Mind?

“It’s important to distinguish whether the craving is physiological or psychological”. “Pay attention so that you can determine whether you are feeling actual hunger in your stomach.”

Physical cravings may be a result of low fat intake or low blood sugar level. For many of us, the mid-afternoon cravings we feel are merely our body’s way of telling us it has been too long since lunch and we actually need to eat. A piece of fruit, yogurt, or a handful of nuts can get the blood sugar levels back up and keep us from reaching for the no-no snacks.

Emotions play a big part in food cravings. “When we’re stressed, anxious, frustrated, lonely ………….. all those feelings can trigger our cravings.” We may have memories of how good certain foods made us feel when we were younger.

Sensory triggers, like smells and visual cues, can also set off cravings. If you walk by the pizza stand on your trip through the mall, chances are you’re going to start salivating.

Physiological Causes of Food Cravings

Physiological theories underline the nutritional and energetic homeostatic role of food cravings (e.g., food cravings are suggested to appear more frequently in individuals who are food deprived; or the psychoactive abilities of certain compounds of the craved foods (e.g., carbohydrate craving is suggested to be elicited as a ‘selfmedication’ to relieve a central serotonin deficit. Psychological affect-based theories stress the role of negative emotional states, such as anger and boredom, as triggers for food cravings. Learning theories claim food cravings to be conditioned responses to sensory, situational, or interoceptive food-related cues and emphasize the expected rewarding, pleasurable consequences of consuming the craved food.

Psychological” Craving…… What it feels like

This is the craving most of us deal with on a daily basis. This is the routine, regular & predictable craving, like the 4 pm scone with your tea, your bowl of chips in front of the TV at night, or the after-dinner chocolate craving when you know you are physically full. Your body may or may not be hungry, but your brain says “CAAAAAAARBS.” It could be “SAAAAAALT.” It could be “SUGAAAAAAAR“. It’s never “BROCCOOOOOOOLI.” This is the craving that can sabotage your otherwise reasonable diet, and that masks real root issues of boredom, sadness, anxiety and – I believe – a lack of sufficient physical exercise.

Sugar cravings
Photo by Henri Matheusaintlurent from Pexel

How to deal with it?

Pack something healthy for a mid-afternoon snack at work, or prepare something yummy but not devastating to your blood sugar if you’re at home. Try an apple or banana with nut butter, fresh veggies with a homemade (or healthy store-bought) dip/ dressing, or a scoop of full-fat yogurt with a sprinkle of home – made granola and cinnamon.

We have a saying around our house: “If you’re not hungry for an apple, you’re probably not really hungry.” It doesn’t have to be an apple, but you get the point: If your healthy snack option doesn’t seem so appealing, chances are you’re not actually hungry. Skip the snack and instead take a break from your desk or change up your at-home routine. Do something other than eating to stimulate your brain and body, as it might be the stimulation and not the food that you’re actually craving, after all. Watch that craving disappear like a man from a dirty kitchen after a dinner party.

Food Cravings is Positive

Think of your favorite foods as a reward, a small treat after you’ve finished your exercise for the day, perhaps. “Don’t think of a food craving as a negative,” she says. “For most people, anything is OK in moderation. “Food cravings are every dieter’s nightmare. Even healthy eaters struggle with yearnings for delicious sweet or savory snacks. We all get them and sometimes we give in to them. Sadly, those nagging hunger pangs can easily make or break your weight loss efforts. They tank your confidence and derail your diet plan. So it’s important to know how to handle them.

Why We Get Food Cravings

There is many controversy about exactly why we get cravings. But experts have suggested that the nagging pangs are physiological. Our bodies crave certain nutrients when we want the result that the food might bring. For example, a candy bar provides a sugar rush. Or we might crave comfort foods as a way to increase feeling of comfort. There are also hormones involved in hunger and cravings. Leptin, ghrelin and other hormones in your body can change the way we experience hunger. Fitness and Health experts often tell us that food cravings can occur when our bodies are dehydrated. It’s possible that food cravings are caused by a combination of both physiological and situational factors. It is also possible that different dieters are affected by different causes.

But some of them believe that cravings are simple a function of habit. For example, we might snack on food when we are bored or when we are looking for a way to avoid the work that we have to do.

The Neurobiology of Cravings

The terms “sugar addict” or “chocoholic” are often used, and people may blame cravings on a sweet tooth, bad eating habits, or lack of self-control. These may be true to a degree, but cravings actually involve a complex interplay of factors: brain messages, behaviors that become habits over time, and having easy access to food.

Normally when eating a meal, appetite hormones are released. Examples are glucagon-like peptide and cholecystokinin from the digestive tract, and leptin from fat cells, which cause feelings of fullness and communicate with the brain to stop eating. On the flipside, if the body hasn’t received food for several hours, ghrelin is released from the stomach to signal hunger. Eating hyperpalatable foods too often might interfere with how the brain processes these hormonal signals so that one may feel continued cravings despite having eaten enough food.

Researches

  • Studies have shown that foods that stimulate the reward regions of the brain influence our food choices and eating behaviors. When we eat certain foods, the neurons in the reward region become very active, creating highly positive feelings of pleasure so that we want to keep seeking these foods regularly. These foods are sometimes labeled because they are easy to digest and have enjoyable qualities of sweet, saltiness, or richness. Hyperpalatable foods stimulates the release of metabolic, stress, and appetite hormones including insulin, cortisol, dopamine, leptin, and ghrelin, all of which play a role in cravings.
  • Studies have also shown that brain signals can become disrupted when eating a very high sugar or high fat diet, which may trigger the release of hormones that reduce stressful emotions and therefore lead to a habitual desire for these “comforting” foods. Interestingly, human studies have also found associations with strong cravings and artificially sweetened foods and beverages (i.e., diet soda), as their intensely sweet flavor may produce the same rewarding effects as sugar.

Factors that Affect Cravings

  • Food industry advertising
  • Stress
  • Sleep
  • Exercise
  • Hormonal changes
  • Medications

 

Photo by Fizkes from Pexel

One of the most common questions dietitians receive is “How can I stop cravings?” Whether it’s sugar, salty snacks, carbs, fried foods… cravings are human! We all have ’em!

Cravings can also be hormonally-driven. Not only do your cravings increase during PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome), but an imbalance of your hunger and fullness hormones (ghrelin and leptin) or happiness hormones, like serotonin, can also cause food cravings.

A popular myth about cravings is that they’re due to a nutrient deficiency. For example, craving a burger around your period because you lose iron at that time of the month. Actually, the jury is still out on this one and this is more anecdotal than based in science.

Identifying a Craving

The hardest part about a true craving is identifying it. What is it EXACTLY that you are craving?

Identifying your craving is a key part in navigating how to handle food cravings. If you’re not sure what you’re craving… search for it! The last thing we want to do when trying to satisfy a craving is eat around the craving. Instead we want to pinpoint the craving, eat and enjoy that food… without guilt!  When you eat around your craving, you’re not only more likely to consume more calories and eat more than your body needs, but feel guilty after honoring your craving.

But what if there was a way to stop cravings in the first place?

I’ll be the first to tell you it’s impossible to stop ALL cravings. It’s just not human behavior. Sure, you can learn to ignore your cravings and deprive yourself of your favorite fun foods, but what good is that? Food is meant to be fun and enjoyed! But there are ways you can minimize your cravings and conquer constant, unwanted cravings.

Tips to Stop Cravings…

Tip #1: Eat well-balanced + satisfying meals

Eating a balance of nutrients at every meal, you will be more satisfied, and actually reduce your cravings and mindless munching throughout the afternoon and evening. A balance of nutrients – carbohydrate, protein, and fat is a satisfying combination. When we’re satisfied from the food we eat, we’re less likely to crave any one food group.

ACTION TIP: Try to include carbohydrates,  protein, and  fat at every meal

Tip #2: Stay hydrated

Hydration is so important. Hydration influences so many different aspects of your health and well being… including food cravings. Water helps transport nutrients around your body. When you’re under-hydrated, that lack of fluid can make it difficult for organs, like your liver, to release glycogen (stored glucose) and other components from your energy stores. When your body doesn’t have enough glucose, it can trigger food cravings. Even more, under-hydration can increase your hunger, only further boosting your cravings.

ACTION TIP: Aim to drink enough so that you’re urine is pale yellow. For most healthy individuals this will be about 2 – 3 liters per day.

Photo by Pixbay from Pixel

Tip #3: Get 7-9 hours of sleep per night

A lack of sleep can increase your hunger hormones and increase cravings. What a combination! When you’re tired, your body wants quick energy like a sugar spike. Usually you may recognize this as a craving for easy to digest carbohydrates, like bread, desserts, or candy. You can fight these cravings, but if you’re consistently over-tired, eventually your willpower will lose. The only way to remedy this is to consistently sleep enough.

ACTION TIP: Most individuals require about 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Create a bedtime routine to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down.

Tip #4: Give yourself permission to enjoy your favorite fun foods, whenever you want them

Yes, you can have that burger + fries and still feel good! You can include cookies into your regular diet.

The key is HABITUATING to your favorite foods. When we place foods off-limits, we want them more. Think about it – you want what you can’t have! (It’s kind of like dating in your early 20s!) When you give yourself permission and consistently expose yourself to these foods, the novelty wears off. You become habituated to these previously “forbidden foods.” But you may have a journey to get to a place where your previously “forbidden foods” are off of their pedestal. Support and accountability can help to prevent a dieting mentality from creeping back in. I’m here for you!

ACTION TIP: give yourself unregulated permission to enjoy your favorite foods in order for your cravings to dissipate.

Here are some tips:

  • Stop referring to foods as “good” or “bad” – food cannot inherently have these qualities.
  • When you want a food, give yourself permission to eat it.
  • Don’t restrict the amount of food you eat. At first it may take more cookies to feel satisfied. Over time, this will decrease as your body (mentally and physically) knows it can eat this food at any time.

Tip #5: Manage your stress without food

Stress can also spike your food cravings. It’s hormonal. Your stress hormones make you crave comfort foods that are typically high in carbohydrates and fat.

ACTION TIP: Focus on non-food related ways to manage your stress…

  • Get adequate sleep
  • Try different relaxation techniques
  • Meditate
  • Do deep breathing exercises
  • Laugh more
  • Have positive relationships
Photo by Andres Ayrton from Pexel

Other tips how you can conquer food Cravings

  1. Believe that cravings will pass, cravings are not actual hunger.
  2. Stop labeling foods as bad or forbidden.
  3. The 5 Ds of food cravings:
  • Delay-wait 10 minutes
  • Distract– do something else
  • Distance– don’t keep the temptation on hand in the kitchen
  • Determine– think about how much you actually want it
  • Decide– know how much of it to eat, slow down and enjoy it (taste it, don’t waste it)
  1. Stay active.
  2. Slow your eating rate.
  3. Separate eating from other activities. This will remove the ability of other activities to stimulate eating and allows you to respond to the actual feeling of hunger.
  • Do nothing else while eating
  • Follow an eating schedule; eat at the same time everyday
  • Eat in one place, preferably the dinner table and not your couch or desk
  • Don’t always feel like you have to clean your plate

 

Here are some strategies for dealing with the cravings (especially the less healthy ones):

  • Eat in Moderation– Many women find it extremely difficult to ignore the craving altogether. Instead, eat what you’re craving, but if it’s high-calorie or high-fat, enjoy it in moderation.
  • Find a Healthy Substitute – Is part of the pregnancy craving the urge to devour eight times the normal serving size? That may be fine if you’re craving healthy fruits and veggies, but if the food you’re craving are highly caloric or otherwise unhealthy, finding an alternative to scratch your itch might be your best bet!
Photo by Ovidiu-Creanga from Pexel
    • Craving a milkshake? While there’s nothing inherently wrong with dairy products, there are less caloric ways to fulfill this craving. These days, Greek frozen yogurt, oat milk ice cream, and a variety of other low-fat and low-sugar options can deliver that creamy goodness without unhealthy weight gain from excessive fat and sugar.
    • Craving chocolate? Substitute milk chocolate for dark chocolate.
    • Craving a salty crunch? While pregnant women do need sufficient sodium, excessive salt intake is associated with heart disease and may even pose some health risk to your baby’s developmentIf a nightly bowl of popcorn bathed in salt has become a habit, try cumin or a low-sodium salt substitute to keep your sodium intake under 2,400 mg a day.
    • Craving something sugary? Whether you’re craving cereal or baked goods, a great alternative is to go for a whole-grain version.

FAQ

Which tips to stop cravings will you try first?

And there you have it… 5 tips to stop cravings in the first place!

But if you are struggling with food cravings, I encourage you to join my Nutrition Training Program where we discuss how to conquer cravings, eat a well-balanced diet, break free from food rules, and more.

Are cravings caused by nutrient deficiencies?

Although some conditions such as sodium deficiency and pica can cause cravings, there is no conclusive evidence that cravings are caused by nutrient deficiencies. Certain known facts about cravings like the influence of sleep and nutrition habits (and perhaps even gender differences) make it more likely that cravings are caused by external factors and not a lack of specific nutrients.

Share the article

Grilled Vegetable Curd Sandwich

Print

Grilled Vegetable Curd Sandwich

  • Author: Banhishikha Roy
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 - 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 - 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Breakfast, Snacks
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: World Wide
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Grilled Vegetable Curd Sandwich is a delicious sandwich recipe. This is an easy-to-make dish that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and snacks food, taken to work, school, or picnics to be eaten as part of a packed food. Easily prepared at home, this snack can be served on occasions like kitty parties, buffet, potlucks and house parties. You can also pack this Fusion recipe for your kids’ tiffin and we are sure it will never fail to meet your expectations! Prepare this breakfast recipe and enjoy with your loved ones.

sandwich

A sandwich is a food typically consisting of vegetables, sliced egg or meat, curd or peneer placed on or between slices of bread, or more generally any dish wherein bread serves as a container or wrapper for another food type. Sandwiches are one of the loved snacks all around the world!


Scale

Ingredients

Finely chopped cabbage – 1/4 cup

Grated carrot – 1/4 cup

Peas – 1/4 cup

30 g finely chopped capsicum

Finely chopped spring onions – 30 g

Lettuce – 2 leaves

Greek yogurt or hung curd – 1/2 cup

Black pepper – 1/2 tsp

Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp

Salt – 1/2 tsp

Herbs – as required

Bread slices  (multigrain or gluten free) – 4


Instructions

  • First rinse and finely chop the veggies in a food chopper or a food processor or with a knife.
  • Then add Greek yogurt or thick curd or hung curd with the vegetables.
  • Sprinkled black pepper, salt, dried oregano and red chili flakes as per the taste. If you want you can also add other dried herbs like thyme or basil or mixed herbs. You can also add chopped green chilies, instead of red chili flakes.
  • And give a proper mix to it.

Making Curd Sandwich

  • Take the bread slices.
  • Place the vegetable mix in between the two slices.
  • Grill the sandwiches till crisp and golden.
  • Serve curd sandwich hot or warm
  • Sandwiches can be served plain or with any dip or chutneys of your choice.

Notes

  1. Do use thick curd, hung yogurt or Greek yogurt to make the filling.
  2. Do note that all the veggies are raw except the steamed peas. If you want you can even blanch the cabbage leaves and then add into the mix.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2
  • Calories: 204
  • Sodium: 309 mg
  • Fat: 6 - 8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 50 - 55 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 12 - 15 g

Share the article

Spicy Baked Pomfret

Spicy Baked Pomfret

Print
Spicy Baked Pomfret

Spicy Baked Pomfret

  • Author: Banhishikha Roy
  • Prep Time: 5-8 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 - 22 minutes
  • Yield: 1
  • Method: Baking

Description

Spicy Baked Pomfret Fish is an easy to make delicious recipe. Try it once, and enjoy the flavor of spicy fish….

 

Fish is packed with many essential nutrients that most people are lacking.  this includes low fat- high biological value protein, omega -3- fatty acids, vitamins such as D and B2 (riboflavin). Fish is rich in calcium and phosphorus and a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium.


Ingredients

Pompret – 1 (110 – 120 g)

Red chilli powder – 2.5 gm

Salt – 2.5 gm

Black pepper powder- 2.5 g

Lemon – ½

Red chilli flakes- 2.5 g

Garlic – 2 cloves (grated)

Tomato – 1 (50 g)

Olive oil – 5 ml


Instructions

  1. Wash and clean the Pomfret fish and place it  on the plate.
  2. Blanch the tomatoes, and kept it aside till it cools down.
  3. Blend the tomato and make a Smooth puree out of it.
  4. Let the puree come to boil.
  5. Make the salt, black pepper powder, lemon juices rubbed well over the fish and it was kept aside for 10 minutes.
  6. By that time mix red chilli powder, chilli flakes, grated garlic, tomato puree, salt in a bowl and spread over the fish.
  7. Add few drops of Olive was used to spread over the  Pomfret fish.
  8. Rest the marinated the pomfret fish in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  9. Bake the fish for 15 minutes at 1800
  10. Garnish and serve it.

Notes

This recipe can be tried with varieties of fishes. Instead of  baking, pan fried method can be used.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 24 - 28 Kcal
  • Sodium: 20.5 mg
  • Fat: 8 - 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3 g
  • Fiber: 0.9
  • Protein: 19.5 g

Share the article

Diabetes: Nutritional Management

Diabetes mellitus (DM), commonly called diabetes, is a group of metabolic disorders and diseases characterized by high blood sugar levels over prolonged period. The symptoms of high blood glucose (sugar) levels include increased thirst, increased hunger, and frequent urination. Diabetes can cause many complications if not carefully treated and controlled.

The management of diabetes focuses on keeping blood sugar levels very close to normal, without causing a low blood sugar level. This can often be accomplished with dietary changes, weight loss, exercise, and use of appropriate medications (oral medications, insulin).

Those with diabetes can benefit from the education about the disease and its treatment, dietary changes required, and exercise, with the aim of keeping both the short-term and the long-term blood glucose levels within adequate and acceptable bounds. Additionally, given the associated higher risk of cardiovascular disease, modifications of lifestyle are recommended to control blood pressure, including healthy eating, regular exercise, and maintaining normal weight (BMI 18 to 25).

One serving in a category is called a “choice.” A food choice has about the same amount of carbohydrates, protein, fat, and calories — and the same effect on your blood glucose — as a serving of every other food in that same category. For example, the starch, fruits, and milk list include choices that are 12 to 15 grams of carbohydrates.

 

Why do people with diabetes need to develop a healthy eating plan?

If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, your must see a dietitian, who can help you to develop a healthy eating plan. The diet plan will help you to control the blood sugar (glucose), weight Management, and control heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high blood fats or cholesterol. When you eat extra calories and fat, your body creates an undesirable rise in blood glucose. If blood glucose isn’t kept in check, it can lead to serious problems, such as a high blood glucose level (hyperglycemia) that, if persistent, may lead to long-term complications, such as nerve, kidney, and heart damage. You can help keep your blood glucose level in a safe range by making healthy food choices and tracking your eating habits. For most people with type 2 diabetes, weight loss also can make it easier to control blood glucose and offers a host of other health benefits. If you need to lose weight, a diabetes diet provides a well-organized, nutritious way to reach your goal safely.

A diabetes diet is based on eating three meals a day at regular times. This helps you better use the insulin that your body produces or gets through medication. A registered dietitian can help you put together a diet based on your health goals, tastes, and lifestyle. He or she can also talk with you about how to improve your eating habits, such as choosing portion sizes that suit the needs for your size and activity level.

Photo by Ovidiu from Pexel

Recommended Diet for Diabetes

Make your calories count with these nutritious foods. Choose healthy carbohydrates, fiber-rich foods, fish, and “good” fats.

Healthy carbohydrates

During digestion, sugars (simple carbohydrates) and starches (complex carbohydrates) break down into blood glucose. Focus on healthy carbohydrates, such as:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes, such as beans and peas
  • Low-fat dairy products, such as milk and cheese

Avoid less healthy carbohydrates, such as foods or drinks with added fats, sugars, and sodium.

Diabetic Fruits
Photo by Engin from Pexel

Fiber-rich foods

Dietary fiber includes all parts of plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb. Fiber moderates how your body digests and helps control blood sugar levels. Foods high in fiber include:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Nuts
  • Legumes, such as beans and peas
  • Whole grains
vegetables
Photo by Pixtural from Pexel

Heart-healthy fish

Eat heart-healthy fish at least twice a week. Fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may prevent heart disease. Avoid fried fish and fish with high levels of mercury, such as king mackerel.

‘Good’ fats

Foods containing monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can help lower your cholesterol levels. These include:

  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Olive, and peanut oils

But don’t overdo it, as all fats are high in calories.

Nuts
Photo by Vie from Pexel

Foods to Diet

Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease and stroke by accelerating the development of clogged and hardened arteries. Foods containing the following can work against your goal of a heart-healthy diet.

  • Saturated fats. Avoid high-fat dairy products and animal proteins such as butter, beef, hot dogs, sausage, and bacon. Also, limit coconut and palm kernel oils.
  • Trans fats. Avoid trans fats found in processed snacks, baked goods, shortening, and stick margarine.
  • Cholesterol. Cholesterol sources include high-fat dairy products and high-fat animal proteins, egg yolks, liver, and other organ meats. Aim for no more than 200 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol a day.
  • Sodium. Aim for less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day. Your doctor may suggest you aim for even less if you have high blood pressure.

Putting it all together: Creating a plan

You may use a few different approaches to create a diabetes diet to help you keep your blood glucose level within a normal range. With a dietitian’s help, you may find that one or a combination of the following methods works for you:

The plate method

The American Diabetes Association offers a simple method of meal planning. In essence, it focuses on eating more vegetables. Follow these steps when preparing your plate:

  • Fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables, such as spinach, carrots, and tomatoes.
  • Include “good” fats such as nuts or avocados in small amounts
  • Fill a quarter of your plate with protein, such as tuna, lean pork, or chicken.
  • Fill the last quarter with a whole-grain item, such as brown rice, or a starchy vegetable, such as green peas.
  • Add a serving of fruit or dairy and a drink of water or unsweetened tea or coffee.

What are the results of a diabetes diet?

Embracing your healthy-eating plan is the best way to keep your blood glucose level under control and prevent diabetes complications. And if you need to lose weight, you can tailor it to your specific goals. Aside from managing your diabetes, a diabetes diet offers other benefits, too. Because a diabetes diet recommends generous amounts of fruits, vegetables, and fiber, following it is likely to reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer. And consuming low-fat dairy products can reduce your risk of low bone mass in the future.

These things may seem like a lot to do at first. Just make small changes until these steps become a normal part of your day. Follow Your Healthy Eating Plan Ask your Nutritionist (FoodNWellness), to help you to create a healthy eating plan. Our dietitians can help you to plan meals that include foods that you and your family like and that are good for you.

Share the article

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates Counting and Glycemic Level

Carbohydrates Counting

A Carbohydrates Counting is the break down into glucose, they have the greatest impact on blood glucose level and helps to control your blood glucose. You may need to learn to calculate the amount of carbohydrates you are eating so that you can adjust the dose of insulin accordingly. It’s important to keep track of the amount of carbohydrates in each meal or snack.

Photo by fcafotodigital from Pexel

A dietitian can teach you how to measure food portions and become an educated reader of food labels. He or she can also teach you how to pay special attention to serving size and carbohydrate content. If you’re taking insulin, a dietitian can teach you how to count the amount of carbohydrates in each meal or snack and adjust your insulin dose accordingly.

Glycemic Index

Glycemic Index is the numerical index given to a carbohydrate-rich food that is based on the average increase in blood glucose level occurring in blood after the food is eaten. The higher the number, the greater the blood sugar response.

The Glycemic Index tells us how rapidly a particular carbohydrate turns into sugar.

The smaller the number, the less impact the food has on your blood sugar.

  • 55 or less = Low (good)
  • 56- 69 = Medium
  • 70 or higher = High (bad)

Some factors that affect GI: 

Processing (puffed cereals have a much higher GI than the grain they came from), ripeness of fruit (unripe bananas can have a GI of 43, where overripe ones have been clocked at 74), protein content (soy beans have a lower GI than other beans), fat content (peanuts have a very low GI), fiber (orange juice has a higher GI than oranges), and how small the particles are (whole grains have a relatively low GI, but grinding them into flour shoots up the GI).

Glycemic index is the scale that was created on a standard amount of carbohydrate per food (50 grams), it doesn’t give people information about the amount of food they are actually eating. This information too is important if we want to assess the true impact of carbohydrate consumption. For this reason, the concept of the glycemic load was created, which takes serving size into account.

Benefits of the Glycemic Index

Eating a lot of high GI foods can be harmful to your health as it pushes your body to extremes. As this is especially true if you are overweight and sedentary. Switching to eating mainly low GI carbohydrates that slowly trickle glucose into your bloodstream keeps your energy levels balanced and will feel fuller for longer between meals.

Low GI food have beneficial effect:

  • people to lose and control weight
  • increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin
  • reduce the risk of heart disease
  • improve diabetes control
  • reduce blood cholesterol levels
  • reduce hunger and keep you fuller for longer
  • prolong physical endurance
  • help re-fuel carbohydrate stores after exercise

 

Glycemic Index

GLYCEMIC LOAD

The glycemic load of a food is the glycemic index divided by hundred and multiplied by its available carbohydrate content (i.e. carbohydrate minus fibre) in grams.

For a diet with a lower glycemic load, eat:

  • More whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits, vegetables without starch, and other foods with a low glycemic index
  • Fewer foods with a high glycemic index, like potatoes, white rice, and white bread
  • Less of sugary foods, including candy, cookies, cakes, and sweet drinks

The concept of  Glycemic load (GL)

Glycemic load (GL) was developed by scientists to simultaneously describe the quality (GI) and quantity of carbohydrates in a food serving, meal, or diet. The GL of a single food is calculated by multiplying the GI by the amount of carbohydrate in grams (g) provided by a food serving and then dividing the total by 100.

GLFood = (GIFood x amount (g) of available carbohydrate food per serving)/100

For a typical serving of a food, GL would be considered high with GL≥20, intermediate with GL of 11-19, and low with GL≤10. Using the above-mentioned example, despite similar GIs, one serving of watermelon has a GL of 8, while a medium-sized doughnut has a GL of 17. Dietary GL is the sum of the GLs for all foods consumed in the diet. All healthy food choices generally are not low-GI foods. For example, intermediate-to-high-GI foods like parsnip, watermelon, banana, and pineapple, have low-to-intermediate GLs.

For example, if we consider watermelon. Water melon has a high glycemic Index (about 72). However, a serving of 120g of watermelon has only about 6g of available carbohydrate per serving. So its glycemic load is pretty low i.e. 72/100 x 6 = 4.32.

 

 

Glycemic Load

 

 

Share the article

Stress, Gut Health and Probiotics

“Stress is a common experience of daily living”.

Stress, Deadlines, Stuck in traffic, Examinations, Workload and having too much to do in life. But not enough time to do anything. Most of us are familiar with these kinds of daily stresses that get our heart racing, breath quickening, and stomach-churning. These can promote the consumption of highly palatable foods, or junk foods,  which influence gut bacteria to thrive. Stressful life events are associated with the onset of symptoms, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and Peptic ulcer disease.

gut health
Photo by Tharakorn from Pexel

In this paragraph it is shown that there’s a strong connection or link between the gut, which refers to the gastrointestinal tract, and the brain. Firstly, Stress and depression can reshape or alter the gut bacteria’s composition. Secondly, they release metabolites, toxins, and neuro-hormones that can affect appetite, mood, or sleep habits, reducing inflammation in the body. Thirdly, these can contribute to depression, affecting cognitive function and response to stress.

We might already eat a lot of Gut-friendly bacteria called probiotic foods, in our diet such as yogurt or kimchi. Some people take a daily probiotic supplement to reap their potential benefits. However, it is also important to know how to improve digestion and stress issues naturally at home.

There are a few simple ways in which you can improve digestion which include:

  • Physical exercises (including Yoga),
  • By adopting eating healthy food and hydrate yourself,
  • Including few probiotic drinks in your diet such as Buttermilk, Simple milk kefir, Coconut water Kefir, Apple cider vinegar drink, Probiotic vegetable juice. Probiotic foods such as dosa, idli and rice kanji, and healthy mood-boosting foods, dark chocolate, banana, berries,  nuts, and seeds, etc.
Probiotics food
Photo by Rimma_Bondarenko from Pexel

In conclusion, we can say that Probiotics have promising potential treatment for depression, to prevent intestinal problems linked to chronic stress and other mental health conditions.

Share the article

Hello there
Get health tips, recipes and front seats to our free health talks and online events delivered to your inbox. Subscribe to our newsletter!
Hello there
Get health tips, recipes and front seats to our free health talks and online events delivered to your inbox. Subscribe to our newsletter!
Get more of the goodness delivered to your inbox. No Spam - No Ads
Subscribe