Monday, April 1, 2013

Healthy Me & Healthy US - April 2013 Edition

Hello Friends,

Today, we begin the "APRIL 2013 Edition" of this event. I am going to post the Roundup for "March 2013 Edition" soon. I received a whopping 51 recipes in March and I am super excited. I like that so many people are moving towards healthy diet and understand the value and need of it. Keep going everyone !!!

I also want to welcome any blogger friends who would like to host it starting next month. Please email me with your interested month.You can check the guest host list for more details. 


Now, let us get to the details of the event.

I am promoting healthy food habits for all of us and our families. Now, the question what is considered healthy. You will get million different answers talking to billion people. But, here is what I think healthy eating is with my understanding of whatever little research I have done and read and heard a few nutritionists.

In very simple terms, HEALTHY IS anything “unprocessed” and “unenhanced”, meaning the foods that are eaten as they are grown underground or above ground. Now, technically this also includes meat and seafood/fishes, but as my blog promotes vegetarianism in general, I will skip discussing meat and seafood. Basically, anything that is NATURE MADE and NOT MAN MADE. By man made, I don’t mean the food you eat, the raw materials are should be nature made :)

Now, let’s look into some explanations of the words “unprocessed” and “unenhanced”. By, “Unprocessed”, I refer to the foods that are eaten in their “natural” raw form, may be cooked, but still raw, no machines have run over it and bleached or added chemicals etc. For example, Whole Wheat (with bran and all) is unprocessed or even stone ground whole wheat flour is unprocessed, BUT, white or brown bleached flour is processed and unhealthy. By “Unenhanced”, I refer to again eating vegetables and fruits and grains eating as they are (cooking is OK) , but the ones that are not genetically enhanced or sprayed with pesticides all over or given so much plant food, that it looks bigger and better, but in reality, it is not. 

I am sure you got an idea of what I mean by HEALTHY here. Now, there is this general misconception in most of the people that vegetarian diet is always deficient in some or the other way. That is NOT TRUE. Let’s look at some deficiency you hear when we talk about vegetarian diet.

Protein: Everyone always think, you get protein only by eating meat, which is so NOT TRUE. The very first source of protein is beans and legumes in a vegetarian/vegan diet. Other than just beans, you can eat nuts and seeds and even some whole grains.

Iron: There are just way too many vegetables and fruits which provide this nutrient. Almost all of the leafy greens are rich in protein.

Zinc: Almost all of the whole grains and seeds/nuts are sources for this.

Vitamin B12: There are many sources for this too. You will see down there.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: After protein, this is the most talked about what vegetarians/vegans miss in their diets. Again, you have more than enough sources for this in vegetarian diets. See the list down below.

Vitamin D: Sunshine, haven’t we heard all. But, check the list and you will be surprised at all the sources.

Now, after all this talk, I am not going to leave you hanging without telling you the sources of these so-called deficiencies in vegetarian diet. Here are the sources that provide more than enough.

Protein in Legume: Garbanzo beans, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, navy beans, soybeans, split peas

Protein in Grain: Barley, brown rice protein, buckwheat, millet, oatmeal, quinoa, rye, wheat germ, wheat, wild rice

Vegetable Protein: Artichokes, beets, broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, green peas, green pepper, kale, lettuce, mushroom, mustard green, onions, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, turnip greens, watercress, yams, zucchini

Protein in Fruit: Apple, banana, cantaloupe, grape, grapefruit, honeydew melon, orange, papaya, peach, pear, pineapple, strawberry, tangerine, watermelon

Protein in Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, cashews, filberts, hemp seeds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts (black)

Iron in Vegetables/Fruits: Sun Dried Tomatoes, Apricots, Parsley, Spinach, Coconut, Olives, Currants & Raisins, Palm Hearts, Lentil Sprouts, Swiss Chard, Asparagus (Raw), Broccoli Raab, Pears , Figs , Apples , Dandelion Greens, Kale etc.

Zinc sources: Breads, grains, cereals, Legumes/Beans, Soy foods, Nuts and Seeds, Corn, Peas and Sea Vegetables etc.

Vitamin B12 sources: Cheese, eggs, whey, milk & yogurt and yeast etc.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Hemp Seeds, Walnuts, Flax Seeds, Olive Oil, Avocado and Chia Seeds etc.

Vitamin D: Sunshine (is the best), Orange Juice, Mushrooms etc.

Now, with all this talk, let’s come down to the rules of the event.
  • You have to cook a dish out of “unprocessed” and “unenhanced” foods ONLY. If you have made something and have doubts on whether or not it qualifies, let me know. I recommend using more vegetables, fruits and nuts/seeds than grains in your dish.
  • Any course of the meal is allowed, even beverages.
  • Eggs and Meat/Seafood/Fishes are NOT ALLOWED.
  • Using pre-packaged food are NOT ALLOWED.
  • Using artificial flavors are NOT ALLOWED.
  • Using pre-processed food is NOT ALLOWED.
  • Nut & Seed Oils ARE ALLOWED but in moderation.
  • Paneer & Tofu are ARE ALLOWED, as they not exactly processed, but cooked to make it the way they are.
  • Stone Ground or Mill Ground (Uncontaminated) flours ARE ALLOWED.
  • Keep DEEP FRYING to MINIMUM.
  • You have to do a small write up on the nutritional benefits of your dish and if possible (recommended) how many servings it gives and what is the calorie per serving (approximate).
  • Provide some substitutes for certain ingredients, if you think they are not easily available. Vegan substitutes will be highly appreciates.
  • Archived posts will be allowed, if it follows all the above rules and if it is updated with this event details.
  • Link your post back to this announcement and promote healthy eating habits.
  • The Event is open till 30th April 2013.
  • Finally, after you have posted your entry, please send me a link with the subject “Healthy Me & Healthy US” and send your name, blog name & link, dish name, dish post link, course of the meal and a picture @ Priya.mitharwal@gmail.com
  • If you are a Non-Bloggers, please send me all the details and I will post it on behalf of you.

So, what are you waiting for? Do your own research, look into healthy options at some local stores, if big chain supermarkets do not provide you healthy options and most importantly, make a decision to start healthy lifestyle.

Did I tell you the most important advantage of this lifestyle? Hold onto your seats. YOU CAN STOP COUNTING CALORIES and still be fit & healthy. Is it not great to be able to do that? I have started this lifestyle recently and already reaping benefits :)

I would like to continue this event for future as well. So, please mail me (not as a comment, but real email) if you are interested to host it in future.

If I have misstated anything, please do let me know and I will verify and correct the facts.

That’s all for now and take care till next post.
Priya

3 comments:

Saraswathi Tharagaram said...

Nice event and will try to send some entries dear..

Navaneetham Krishnan said...

Great sharing, plenty of options and love to try out some.

Sapana Behl said...

Hi!
You have a nice blog with awesome clicks. I have just started following you and it may be highly encouraging if you may follow me back.
http://cookingwithsapana.blogspot.com
Thanks
Sapana

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