Tag Archives: wellness

Why I love Lemon -a sweet and sour journey

Anything Lemony would do for me !!  Why the humble lemon?

I love the color, fresh and sunny  coyly reaching out for attention when i buy my veggies . I love the divine smell, the refreshing tang it adds to my daily life ; a comfort ingredient  for me  ;as it always takes me back to memories of my life with my maiden family- the simple light me ups- Nimbu pani, the lemon rice , lemon pickle. Mom- I want more!

Citrus  limon as the binomial name goes  is also one of the top 5 alkalizing superfoods in my list and  plays  an important role to alleviate a lot of the health troubles for me ,my family and my patients some suffering  from Skin and Stomach disorders to Obesity to Diabetes. Its rich in  ascorbic acid(vitamin C) and limonene which has been extensively studied for its ability to combat tumor growth in over 50 clinical studies. 

Lemons have an acidic pH, which is attributable to their citric acid content. The acidity of a fresh lemon can vary between 2.2 and 2.4 on the pH scale, depending on the fruit’s state of ripeness. However the pH nature of lemons changes during the body’s metabolic process and they become highly alkaline-forming. Adding just 1 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice to a glass of water is an easy way to give your body that  boost of alkalinity. Just be  careful to avoid rubbing  it directly to your teeth as it does tend to discolor them.

It can be used in many ways :

  •  Rind/ Peel – Pickle it, Zest it, Candy it  (avoid the pith-the inner fibrous membrane just  below the zest)
  •  Juice it – The best way.                                                                                                        ” When life gives you a lemon…..squeeze it, mix it with six ounces of distilled water and  drink  twice daily “ –Jethro Kloss in his book Back to Eden .                                                                Drink it as a diluted shot, have a lemon tea, mohito or use it  with your creative culinary  flair in  your salads, staple and gourmet recipes
  •  Seeds-Lemon seeds do naturally contain salicylic acid which is the main ingredient in  Aspirin, though this is in small amounts. I have not done many trials yet to establish the  edibility/nutritional benefit of these seeds

This natures disinfectant also extends its benefit to my home as I use it for lightly bleaching the floors, in clothes ,on nails to keep them clean to deodorize bathroom, kitchen and garbage odors.Lemon is a also a natural mosquito repellent –  A tip: take a fresh left over lemon peel and rub it onto your skin. The smell of the lemon will keep away the mosquitoes. A saviour for my  son on his outdoor camps.

I Feel blessed this yellow fruit is indigenous to my country India- easily available and relatively reasonable 

Viva le limon.

A recipe of the refreshing all naturel Pink lemonade in my subsequent blog https://kajalbhatia.wordpress.com/2013/10/14/some-pink-lemonade 




The Many Sins of Sugar


Just A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. Really?  The point is overdose of both sugar and medicine stay in your system and leads to nothing but toxicity and dis-ease.

Sugar and Glucose are not synonymous. Sugar is nothing but  empty calories  Glucose is the end product of all foods we eat mainly carbohydrates and also protein and fat. Our brain only 2% in weight uses 70% of the body glucose  Every Body needs glucose to survive and not sugar. More importantly sugar is highly acidic to the body

Where is sugar ? Everywhere, when it comes to food and drinks. Bread and breakfast cereals, tomato and barbecue sauces, fruits and vegetables, protein boxes and fizzy drinks, desserts and alcohol .

Many forms Of Sugar

  • White Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Liquid Sugar
  • Sugar Alcohols
  • Sweeteners .

So Are you addicted to sugar? Answer these

1. Do you struggle to walk past a sugary treat without taking ‘just one’?

2. Does your daily  routine work around sugar consumption –  needing a piece of chocolate to         relax in front of the television?

3. Are there times when you feel as if you cannot go on without a sugar hit?

4. do you develop headaches and get irritable often and rush for that sugar treat?

If you answered ‘yes’ to one of the questions above, you are addicted

Dr. David Reuben, author of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nutrition says, “white refined sugar-is not a food. It is a pure chemical extracted from plant sources, purer in fact than cocaine, which it resembles in many ways. Its true name is sucrose and its chemical formula is C12H22O11. It has 12 carbon atoms, 22 hydrogen atoms, 11 oxygen atoms, and absolutely nothing else to offer.” …The chemical formula for cocaine is C17H21NO4. Sugar’s formula again is C12H22O11. For all practical purposes, the difference is that sugar is missing the “N”, or nitrogen atom.”

Why say NO?

Sugary ills are more than you can imagine starting with

  • Low energy
  • Bowel Disorders
  • Dental Decay
  • Mood Swings
  • Hyperactivity in children and Adults
  • Obesity
  • Underweight
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Diabetes
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Gout
  • Polycystic Ovarian Disorders
  • Leptin resistance
  • Candida
  • Cancer

Know your Hidden Sugars and switch to more natural healthier or lesser processed forms(Look out for a sugarfree substitution recipe in my next blog-Super Choconut Boostershttps://kajalbhatia.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/super-choconut-boosters/


Turkish Delights Part 1 – Memoirs of an Indian Health Forager

Resonating sounds of Merhaba, Merhaba made it clear – “I’m in Turkey!”  The start had been a good one- the well serviced Turkish Airways flight with its new and improved menu had won me over. The  potato salad wrap was definitely something to write home about and the fresh greens almost made me forgot I was eating them mid-air. 

As I enter the Eurasian land, memories of my previous visit are quickly conjured up. I wonder,  will the Turks now know  me as one of their own, albeit from the Asian side ? . Yes! Evet ! When we met our friend Ergun. he was quick to indulge me with the national obsession, the Turkish chai, and I was reassured . The tea for me though a very rare occasional social drink was  a treat in itself, stylishly served and sipped as the Turkish do, thankfully sans milk in their beautiful glasses.

My first brush with the country 3 years ago left me wanting more. The blue green waters, the stone work, the Turquoise overload, the culture, the food , the architecture, the people, but since then a lot has changed for them and me. As the Turks look for better governance and me for better health, will it be different for me in the land of the feta? Well, that’s all I can remember eating earlier in the name of so called good health. But life has taught me better. This trip I was introduced to a paradise of fruits and veggies in Turkey –  it is a delight for the true  health seeker, not only for its pro med diet but also for its vast array of vegetarian and dairy-free mezzes variety.

The land of the magical Bosphorus  and the Sultan ehmet offers much more than the usual fare of Italian, Chinese and Indian that I am usually used to seeing overseas. Food is not an issue in this land and given an option health food is at arms length if you forage . In the smoldering June heat the excitingly over juicy watermelon and the  succulent rocket leaves became my morning staple of choice. And surprisingly, my 14 year old was also lapping this combo along with his super juicy peaches cherries and olives!!

. As I bustled my way through this land exotica, I especially loved my day trips. Day 2 to the supermarket and the Spice  bazaar with its endless display of spices and herbs both were a food crawlers delight. The latter, a gastronomic paradise since 1664 .Coriander, cinnamon, sumac, cumin ,paprika,   curry powder, Iranian saffron, several types of pepper and more competing for display space . The Grand Bazaar served up more than I had anticipated- unknown, promising ingredients and other delights along with a variety of alluring carpets (check out Cinar right outside Grand Bazaar ), glass mosaic lamps and uniquely crafted jewellery.

The  Cappadocian soujourn east of Istanbul  and in the heart of Anatolia took me through amazing terrain, underground cities, cave cafes and hotels , and the best grapes in the country , the wine  there rated by most connoisseurs as first grade. Their  grape seed oil  – an antioxidant   used as therapy for various ailments. Tried borek a local snack made  with patatas instead of cheese but could not Take down  – super super oily stuff. Our desi samosas far edible A dip in the salt lake sea on my way back was a good pedicure for my weary feet. Nature provides the best luxuries….

Next, my Turkish friend Hulya led us to a small local town, Altinoluk. It is off the tourist map, down the the Aegean sea and before the uber hip party town Bordrum I had visited last trip. We went to meet her family- a patriarch retired grandfather and his litter running all around the place. I was enthralled with the idyllic setting- picturesque, a real wonderland. People old and young cycling everywhere- tricycles bicycles two seaters, copy segways . Women with children tied to their backs running home style cafes making the most delicious gozleme– a Turkish style aloo paratha  along with turkish chillies– it was my main  hot accompaniment on this trip. The beach market there surprised me too as I met a cafe owner couple who had opened their smoothie outlet with an all veg cafe – a first in this town. Their Turkish style Falafel a 9/10. At night, the pier transformed into a carnival. Oh! I never wanted to leave.

Back in Istanbul I met up with old friends; Levent, a first class home style chef who introduced me to a Turkish farmer style market and cooking- pilaf, bean staple, artichoke delite, dolmas, gozleme all gently simmered in olive oil. Oh how differently Indians  use oils! Interestingly the Turkish call pasta -Macarana and cake -pasta. Dolma  Recipe put up in my subsequent Turkish -2 installment.

As we scurried through the various by lanes of the hip Galata Beyoglu Taksim square munching zinc laden pumpkin seeds (most alkaline of all oilseeds), I also sensed a vibrant energy through the locals, just like in New York’s Times Square and Madison square Gardens. It seemed a peaceful protest was underway in Taksim square; candles lit everywhere in memory of the bravehearts who lost their lives

flashes off; candlelights on

flashes off; candlelights on

My experience at a turkiye bar again reinforced why I love this land. They love their music – men & women ,young & old danced and swayed to melodies new and old; rock pop sufi subconsciously bringing in the dervish element .

A must do is the Turkish hamam- give the spa a miss but do not miss the hamam, it is a revelatory experience. Detox here is at its best, go ahead and shed the skin for the new and get scrubbed by the old knit cloth pese in style . The local Hamams are a great bang for your lira though the Calagoglu (only for women) while the Ayasofya hurem sultan Hamami are the notable and more expensive versions .

Our final destination the Prince Islands was a delight in itself, beautiful roads, seaside cafes, quaint homestays, opulent villas  and delectable  date cakes.

What can I say ? This country  surely deserves its nazar bonju !!