Why Whey Protein?

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What is Whey Protein?

Buy whey protein

Whey protein is a protein that is easier and quicker to absorb than protein found in most foods. While this is convenient, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is better than foods. Protein is required to repair the tears in muscles from strenuous and intense exercise. When you put stress upon your muscles, you cause tears that actually break down the muscles. And yes this means that technically by working out you are causing your muscles to become weaker.

When you consume protein, whether it be whey, soy, etc, the tears get repaired. Not only do these tears get repaired to their original state but rather the tears become more adapted to exercise, thus leading to strength gains.

Taking Whey Protein After A Workout

 After a workout, your body is starved for energy, or at least is looking for where it can get some to refuel. Typically when your body is searching for sources of energy either from exercise or prolonged stages of under-consumption, it absorbs nutrients much easier.

The time after working out is important, how long do you have to capitalize on taking the protein? Roughly 40 minutes is the best time to chow down.

After your post-workout protein, it is best to eat at least every 2 hours for 6 hours afterwards. Just because you had your post-workout meal does not mean that your body is done searching for energy to recover. This is also the perfect time to take your multi vitamins as it gets absorbed the fastest!

Reference:

http://bodyathletics.hubpages.com/hub/When-Should-I-take-Whey-Protein

 

Why Chia Seeds?

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Buy chia seeds

Chia seeds are native to South America and have been a staple in Mayan and Aztec diets for centuries. Today, they draw the interest of many people for their health benefits and uses in cooking. It turns out the South American staple is a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants.

In Bangladesh, a similar seed is called ‘tokma’ or basil seeds. 

Their benefits are: 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Chia seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds’ lipid profile is composed of 60 percent omega-3s, making them one of the richest plant-based sources of these fatty acids — specifically, of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. The omega-3s in chia seeds can help reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance and reduce high cholesterol.

Fiber

Fiber is associated with reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol and regulating bowel function. Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, with a whopping 10 grams in only 2 tablespoons. That is one-third of the daily recommended intake of fiber per day.

Antioxidants

Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer. The high antioxidant profile also helps them have a long shelf life. They last almost two years without refrigeration.

Minerals

Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 18 percent of the DRI for calcium, 35 percent for phosphorus, 24 percent for magnesium and about 50 percent for manganese. These nutrients help you prevent hypertension and maintain a healthy weight, and are important for energy metabolism and a part of DNA synthesis.

Satiety

Satiety is the feeling of being full and satisfied, which helps lower food cravings between meals. The combination of protein, fiber and the gelling action of chia seeds when mixed with liquids all contribute to their satiating effects.

Gluten-Free

Chia seeds contain no gluten or grains. Therefore, all of the nutritional benefits of chia seeds can be obtained on a gluten-free diet.

Egg Replacer

The outer layer of chia seeds swells when mixed with liquids to form a gel. This can used in place of eggs to lower cholesterol and increase the nutrient content of foods and baked goods. To make the egg replacement, mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit for 15 minutes.

Can Be Digested Whole

Unlike flaxseeds, which are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and minerals, chia seeds do not need to be ground in order to obtain their nutrient or egg- replacement benefits.

Dyslipidemia

A study published in the “British Journal of Nutrition” showed that chia seeds as a dietary fat source can lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels while increasing HDL or “good” cholesterol. The study also found that when substituting chia seeds for other fat sources, such as corn oil, the ALA was able to prevent high triglyceride levels and reduce central obesity.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Chia seeds can play an important role in regulating insulin levels. They can reduce insulin resistance and decrease abnormally high levels of insulin in the blood.

Reference:

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/top-10-health-benefits-chia-seeds-6962.html

 

Why Matcha Green Tea?

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MATCHA ANTIOXIDANT LEVELS

matcha

 Buy Matcha

6.2 TIMES THAT OF GOJI BERRIES 
7 TIMES THAT OF DARK CHOCOLATE 
17 TIMES THAT OF WILD BLUEBERRIES 
60.5 TIMES THAT OF SPINACH

 CANCER PREVENTER

Green tea contains potent antioxidants called catechins, which scavenge for dangerous free radicals in the body. The most powerful catechin found in green tea is EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is believed to be a powerful anti-carcinogen4.

A 2003 University of Colorado study confirmed that drinking 1 cup of matcha green tea has 137 times the amount of antioxidant EGCG compared to a conventional cup of green tea1.

 ANTI-AGER

One of the locales in the world where people live the longest is Okinawa, Japan. The Okinawan people’s longevity has been partly attributed to regular consumption of Matcha Green Tea1.

Matcha green tea is the most popular green tea in Japan, but is rapidly gaining more popularity throughout the world because of its ability to combat inflammation, oxidation and aging.

 HEART DISEASE PREVENTER: LOWERS LDL “BAD” CHOLESTEROL

A 2011 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that administration of green tea beverages or extracts significantly lowered serum total cholesterol and LDL “Evil Emperor Zurg” cholesterol concentrations5.

 WEIGHT LOSS

A 1999 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that green tea extract rich in catechins has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation beyond that explained by the tea’s caffeine content.

It was found that consuming green tea increased thermogenesis (the body’s rate of burning calories) from 8-10% to 35-43% of daily energy expenditure6.

Another study demonstrated that exercising immediately after drinking matcha green tea resulted in 25% more fat burning during exercise4.

DETOXIFIER

Matcha is grown in the shade, which is why it is richer in chlorophyll than other green teas. Chlorophyll is the pigment responsible for giving leaves their green color. The Hulk would be proud!

Chlorophyll is purported to detoxify the body1, but this has yet to be scientifically proven. I wanted to mention it because of its supposed ability to clear the body of toxins, heavy metals, poisons, dioxins and hormone disrupters.

 MIND IMPROVER

Matcha green tea contains up to 5 times more L-theanine than conventional green tea2. L-theanine is an amino acid with psychoactive properties, capable of inducing alpha wave activity in the brain.

Stress is known to induce the brain’s beta wave activity, leading to a more agitated state. Alpha wave activity can relieve stress, promote relaxation and even lower blood pressure1.

Although matcha contains some caffeine, the relaxing properties of L-theanine counterbalance the “jittery” effects of caffeine. Therefore, a cup of matcha green tea promotes concentration and clarity of mind without producing any of the nervous energy typically associated with coffee2.

 FIBER

Matcha green tea leaves contain a high level of easily-absorbable dietary fiber. The benefits of dietary fiber include its ability to ease constipation and stabilize blood sugar levels.

 ENERGY ENERGY

Try a cup of matcha green tea as an afternoon “pick-me-up” anytime you need extra focus. matcha green tea is an ideal substitute for coffee because it provides an energy boost without the headaches1 you might get from a coffee crash.

Reference:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/8-wonders-of-matcha-green-tea.html

 

My daily everyday

Lifestyle

It’s good to be back home, rejuvenated from a month long holiday! Even though I followed my London routine while I was away, it’s simply not the same.

I used to be pretty much like a sloth before; I went to school, ate whatever, sedentary mostly, sleeping at strange hours (with sleep aid), woke up past noon. Oh! It was a mess!! And by the way I was always tired or felt sick just ask my husband or sisters.

Looking at my everyday now, I must say I have come a long way in just a few short months. Remember it takes 21 days to form a habit!

My day starts with me craving for the fruit smoothie. Blitz the fruits with some spinach and kale. Add in matcha green tea and then stir in some chia seeds.

Why matcha green tea? Why chia seeds?

I drink half of the smoothie an hour before training.

Train with Gary for an hour and half. By that time I am dead beat!

Within 20 mins of training, I drink a whey protein shake with water followed by multivitamins that’s when your body is craving for all that goodness! Then i head to work feeling quite full. At some point before lunch, I take the remaining portion of the smoothie. 

Why whey protein?

 I take lunch around 12:30 pm which consists of carbohydrates + veggies

Between lunch and dinner, I have 2 snacks.

Snack # 1: Either apple with nut butter or seeds or porridge. Anything that is slow releasing. Fruit or milk chia puddings are great too.

Snack # 2: Another whey protein shake with water.

Then I take dinner  by 7:30 pm which consists of proteins + veggies

Why this food plan?

Around 9:30 pm I drink some chamomile or herbal tea

By 10:30 pm, I am already dying to sleep. This is so unlike me but I love it!

And all day I drink a lot of water (4 liters) in many forms and keep nuts and seeds handy. You never want to feel hungry thats a sign of your metabolism slowing down. 

You just have to make it work around your schedule. Everyone’s life is different and there is no template to getting it just perfect. You devise your own plan and make it work for you! Just remember to add in all the goodness so each day you are one step towards your goal. Everything you put into your body should have a reason, when something doesn’t thats when you toss it out! 

You decide what goes into your body, it deserves the best! 

 

 

 

 

 

The honest truth : The 411

Lifestyle

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We are fighting a battle against the world just to lead a healthy life. Most governments have relaxed food regulations simply because of the lobbying that takes place by the largest companies in the world, the ‘low fat’ products are tweaked with higher sugar contents, the ‘heart healthy’ label is just a show and the foods that are the worst for your health are the cheapest and most easily available! So really we are up against the world to help ourselves just to lead a healthy lifestyle which we should be taking for granted.

When someone is overweight, they know it. They live it everyday, struggling to decide how to reach their goal or the body they once had. The journey to living a healthier lifestyle is definitely not only physical, if it were you could train as hard as ‘physically’ capable and there you’d have it. Its 80% mind and 20% body, take it from me! A person who has tried numerous fad diets and exercise routines relentlessly till I fell off the wagon and realized I am back to square one. This time when I made this decision, I knew conditioning my mind would take priority over training ‘really’ hard for these short bursts so I decided to look at the reality of it all.

How the hell did this happen to me?

Before I began to drown into the self-loathing side of thinking this is all my fault, I looked around me. I wasn’t born craving a brownie or other complex carbohydrates, these addictive toxins were introduced to us from an early age. Our parents became the first victims of the ‘fast food’ era and at that time with limited information and understanding, whatever was branded well, worked! It was almost thought of as a luxury to serve Coke during dinners back when we were toddlers or eating a happy meal at McDonalds when you went on vacation. Our bodies which were like well oiled machines built to fight the harshest of weathers had now gotten a taste of the sugars and complex carbohydrates and thus the beginning of the end!

I get it, most people blame the overweight person for reaching where they are but what about the alarming rate of obese children? Are they heading to the grocery store feeding themselves junk food? I don’t think so. As the new generation of parents/ parents to be or the parents will be, you have all the information in the palm of your hands to save your children! Our parents weren’t so lucky but we are, so there’s no excuse! Speak up in school, get together with other mothers, speak up to the people who might be introducing these toxins to your children; I’m sure you would if someone was providing your toddler drugs!!

In this context, my nieces’ school in London has implemented such guidelines to help the parents and children. Ultimately your child spends most of their time in school so its the perfect place to start! They are taught which ones are ‘good’ foods and ‘bad’ foods, you can’t give sugary goodies for lunch and when its a child’s birthday, you treat all the other kids to a variety of fruits! This way my niece tells her mother what she wants to eat and as a 4 year old has enough knowledge to decide to eat more ‘good’ foods than ‘bad’ foods. I know you are probably thinking you can’t deny your children chocolates all of a sudden and I’m not telling you to either, start replacing it with fruit sugars and take it from there. Become the first parents to have healthy foods at their birthday party, talk to the schools to introduce such guidelines and imagine the difference you can make for all these children. It’s the best for your baby!

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So back to understanding how I got to this point, I realized now that being raised with the constant availability of such ‘bad’ foods had resulted in this and when I went to boarding school there was no one to control my eating and the body adjusted to taking in larger amounts of these toxins. From then on as a 16 year old, I remember my struggle had already started. The crash diets, the short burst of working out and then giving up. My body wanted to lose the weight but my mind was addicted and it would convince me that it was okay to have whatever I wanted. The mind is a powerful authority.

As I got older, this vicious ‘yo-yo’ cycle continued because I had always tried the short cut diets and workouts which are fed into society by companies minting money off of people’s self loathing attributes. You lose water, maybe half a pound of fat and lots of muscle and you are in awe because you’ve lost 10 lbs in a week! Believe me, I was a victim every time. It’s funny because while it’s difficult to feel good carrying all that extra weight, you adjust to loving temporary moments of happiness to compensate like wearing expensive bags or shoes. Start investing in your health because honestly, if your body isn’t there who’s going to wear the expensive bags and shoes anyway? What will those bags do when you can’t run around with your child? Nothing.

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Today, I am in a much happier place because I have accepted the fact that it will take time to undo what I have done to my body over 10 years. At least I am  closer to my goal today than I was 3 months ago. I will be honest with you, the first month was absolute hell. It’s like someone in rehab trying to get over their addiction; my skin broke out, I was cranky, moody, etc. etc. but today? My skin has a healthy glow, I naturally don’t crave any sugars, my doctor told me my blood work looks like a sample of the healthiest people, I sleep through the night and my mindset is so much stronger than yesterday! Let’s help each other and our children and their children and their children’s children so they never have to fight this battle. A battle which we can tackle!

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I’ll share my daily day with you so you can see if it works for you. It’s not about body image issues, its about being healthy firstly for yourself and then your loved ones. Be smarter about your investments, invest in your health today!

 

 

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Fresh as fresh! Not your average tomato basil pasta

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The pasta supper is clearly the most common ‘go to’ dish in most households. Its easy; boil some pasta, dump a jar of the store bought pasta sauce and add in some protein! Voila! You have food on the table!

There are a few problems with that:

1. White refined pasta: Choose whole wheat pasta over refined white pasta because it has fewer calories, carbohydrates, fats and higher fibers.

2. Store bought pasta sauce: Its full of preservatives and sugar! In a minute you’ll see that pasta sauce from ‘real’ tomatoes is not that bright red color!!!

3. Adding a protein into a carbohydrate intensive meal: Its a big no no in the food plan I follow, my next post will explain in details why there is no mixing!

So I present to you a fresh-fresh, healthy and yummy pasta dish that you can can serve guilt-free to your guests, kids or loved ones 🙂


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What do you need?

250 gm (raw weight) whole wheat pasta – cooked

5 large tomatoes

1.5 cups sliced mushrooms

2 large garlic cloves, one chopped and one whole

Fresh basil leaves

4 sprays of oil of choice

1 teaspoon of EVOO

salt to taste

This will make 4 servings!


Cook the whole wheat pasta and set aside

Steam the tomatoes until completely softened

Spray the oil onto the pan on high heat, sauté the garlic and mushrooms. Add salt to taste.

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Take the softened tomatoes and peel the skin off. It will come right off!

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In a blender, add the tomatoes, teaspoon of EVOO, clove of garlic, basil and salt. Blitz together until well mixed and looks like a sauce. See I told you there’s no bright red color!

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Transfer this sauce onto the pan containing the sautéed mushrooms and simmer in low heat for 5 minutes.

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Add in the pasta bit by bit into the sauce until well incorporated.

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Enjoy while warm!

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You can add in chili for an extra kick!

You can also make the sauce ahead of time and mix together right before serving! Garnish with a fresh basil leaf!

 

 

Dinner: Sweet and spicy ground beef lettuce wraps

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Lunch is always slightly easier than dinner as you have the whole day to burn it off incase you eat something extra. Dinner on the other hand is less forgiving which is why by 7:30 pm, I eat the proteins and vegetables! 

I cross a Chinese restaurant almost everyday and today I woke up determined to eat a healthy version of my most favorite dish! Lettuce wraps without the excessive fats, sugars or MSG and I did it! 

I also served it to some guests I had over today and they loved it! I was so happy to have served something healthy and fresh! You can easily make the filling ahead and put it together when your guests have arrived! Very versatile! 


What do you need?

1 whole lettuce bulb

450 gram lean ground beef ( I used 5% fat ones)

(you could also use chicken or turkey mince)

1 cup diced peppers 

1 cup diced carrots 

2 tablespoons of good quality honey 

2 tablespoons of chili sauce or to make it even healthier use chili flakes/paste 

2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard 

2 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro 

3/4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 

3 sprays of your oil of choice 

salt and pepper to taste 

You will make enough for 3 dinners! 😀 


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In a bowl, mix together the honey, mustard and chili sauce with 2 tablespoons of water and set aside 

Spray on the oil into the pan on high heat 

Add in the garlic, peppers and carrot with a dash of water to soften and sauté 

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After sautéing for 2-3 minutes add in the ground beef and salt/pepper 

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Stir the beef and break it up and you will notice the ‘fatty juice’ collecting 

Put the lid on and drain that liquid out, it is the fats from the ground beef and its gotta go!! Ech! 

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Return the pot onto the heat and stir in 2/3 of the mixture of honey/mustard/chili sauce that you had set aside. 

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Close the lid and let it cook for about 10 -12 minutes more. Make sure to stir occasionally during that time. You will notice the char on the beef and peppers and then add in that remaining honey/mustard/chili sauce mixture and the cilantro. 

Keep tasting the beef as you cook! Thats just standard operating procedure 😀

Take it off the heat, arrange the lettuce and fill them in! 

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Enjoy while warm! I had it with a side of steamed mixed vegetables!

* You can also add in sweet and sour chili sauce in which case leave out the honey and chili sauce however I would highly recommend using a chili sauce and honey mixture as you eliminate the high amounts of sugar in those sweet and sour sauces. 

* A great alternative would be to use a freshly made chili paste! That would be ideal especially if you used a mixture of fresh red chili and roasted chili. YUM! I will surely do that next time!

Also I do apologize for not including the calories, thats because I don’t calorie count and you shouldn’t either especially when you are eating clean and healthy! 

 

Stoup (stew + soup) : Red lentils with squash and spinach

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We often overlook the simpler ingredients when devising a healthier food plan, we think we need the fancier stuff and equipped with the usual excuse of, ‘its so expensive to eat healthy!.’ Its not. 

Lentils are one of the best food source of slow-digesting carbohydrates! Perfect for lunch! It is an excellent source of fiber, folate, manganese and iron. It’s especially great because it is not like the usual carbohydrates like white rice or bread where your sugar levels spike immediately after consumption instead it takes its times to convert to glucose. Along with these, it has been proven that it aids colon health, diabetics and absorption of essential minerals like calcium. 

Available everywhere and you can make it so delicious by simply boiling it and adding your favorite vegetables, even if you cant boil an egg you can boil lentils! 

So this is what I made for lunch today, again it is extremely versatile to carry out and you can make it for 2/3 days at a time. 


What do you need?

1 cup of red lentils

2 cups of butternut squash

2 cups of spinach

1/2 cup of cilantro

3 tsp of turmeric powder 

1 cup of cooked brown rice

Sea salt to taste 

This should yield 4 to 5 servings ( each serving is 1.5 cups)


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Clean the red lentils under water until it runs clear

Cover the lentils with water making sure it is completely submerged. Add the turmeric powder and salt.

On medium heat, boil the lentils for about 10 minutes 

Add in the butternut squash and cover the pot and let it simmer until the squash and lentils have completely softened. 

Using a masher, mash the squash and lentils as it simmers 

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Add in the spinach 

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Mix together until the spinach wilts and take a taste. Beware it’s super hot! I say this from experience! Ouch!

Add in the cilantro 

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Allow it to simmer for an additional 5 minutes under very low heat. It’s ready! 

Spoon the stoup (stew + soup) into a bowl and add a tablespoon of brown rice. The combination is perfect! 

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Enjoy! No fats, good carbs and lots of vegetables!

You can add any vegetables you want, pumpkin, beans, jalapeños, tomatoes, the list goes on and on! You can even skip on the rice but the texture really adds a little something. 

It was a perfect meal on this cold London afternoon especially on a day I was feeling extremely homesick . 

Lunch: Vegetable fried rice

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Lunch is one of those meals that really helps you get through the day! There are such high expectations from lunch, it needs to fuel you and must be versatile enough to take to work/school/etc. Here’s a recipe that fits the bill, it’s packed with nutrients, you can make it once for 2/3 days and it’s holds well to carry out.

Remembering the 70:30 ratio of vegetables:carbohydrates I will give you only an approximation of how much vegetable you should add. Please feel free to add more!

Every household usually has their own fried rice recipe, stir fried vegetables, eggs, protein, rice together….but remember no mixing carbs and proteins! Here’s the trick to avoid stir frying those beautiful vegetables in oil and stripping it off it’s nutrients.

Steam them first! The steamer is my new best friend!


What will you need?

1 cup cooked and cooled brown rice
1 cup broccoli
1 cup carrots
1 cup mushrooms
1 cup green/red peppers
2/3 cloves of chopped garlic
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 cup spring onions
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
Sea salt to taste

Cook and cool the brown rice

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Steam the broccoli, carrots, peppers and mushroom till just tender. Make sure they don’t get soggy.

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In a hot wok, add 3 sprays of your oil of choice and toast the garlic. Add in steamed vegetables and stir.

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Add in the brown rice and stir together. Add salt to taste and soy sauce.

Mix well and add in chopped cilantro and spring onion. Mix together and serve!

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You can add a medley of vegetables to your liking. Corn and peas are a great addition! Store extra fried rice in air tight container and it will stay well for 4/5 days in the fridge. This should make you at least 4 servings!

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Enjoy!

Practice what you preach

Lifestyle

I loved cooking, I still love cooking. At a time when I feel I am actually making a realistic change in my life, the past and the future really haunts me. The past, because I remember the terrible eating habits, sedentary lifestyle and most importantly the buttery sugary goodies I would create! The future, because eventually I will be moving back to Dhaka in December and I’m scared that this displacement might throw me off along with a couple of ‘societal pressures’.

I have realized two things: people love to feed ‘fat’ people and secondly people love to feed their guests delectable foods that they would dare not eat themselves any other day of the year/month/week!

Believe me, I was the biggest culprit!

I used to cook these feasts for my friends and family with endless additions of butters, sugars and obviously it tasted like heaven! (If I may say so myself) but I wouldn’t eat those foods myself in general then why was I unintentionally harming my family/friends? Or why was I making a doggy bag for the person who is clearly struggling with their weight? It wasn’t like I had these evil intentions, it just happens to be an innate mind set in most cultures unfortunately.

I still don’t know why I was doing that but I do know that I will stop and it’s time we make a change. If I am trying so hard to attain a healthy lifestyle, my loved ones should reap the benefit from it too. Show them how tasty vegetable fried rice (recipe coming soon!) or vanilla chia pudding (recipe coming soon!) can be. 🙂

Society is a strange thing, you will notice families and friends coming together to help a relative suffering with let’s say a drug addiction. They will arrange support groups, rehab facilities and anything to ‘cure’ him. But do you realize that that overweight person is suffering the same way? The sugars and fats are his addiction and it’s time we open our eyes to it. According to the WHO, more than 1.5 billion adults, 20 and older, were overweight!

I know it’s easier to avoid it because it is such an incredibly emotional and personal thing, make fun of it or simply feed his addiction but then what? Maybe it’ll be too late. The sad truth is that you will come across many ‘pseudo-caring’ people who will be the first to say you are too fat or too thin, first to ask you how you have become this size but when you need someone to really push you and help you, there’s no one. There are scores of silent judgers and no one to really help, so become someone who helps today or ask your sibling/friend to help you. 

So, let’s change, even if you are overweight or at the peak fitness of your life, there is something you can do! Be sensitive, starting with ‘I think you need to lose weight’ isn’t probably the best introduction because believe me they know it and live it everyday! So make it fun, join the gym together or play a sport together. Follow each other on fitness apps so you can monitor your food intakes. Challenge each other to see who can lose more weight. Find healthier alternatives together. Just because you have a gifted super metabolism, don’t suggest eating the greasy fatty stuff, eat healthy together! 

 It’s time we acknowledge this epidemic and do our part. If every person reading this helps just one person, imagine what difference we can make. 

I will begin posting recipes this week giving alternative options for people in Dhaka. Try these recipes out, make them with your friends who are struggling. You have no idea how much pain they are in. They need you more than you need them. I would love to hear your stories. 

One small step at a time. 

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