JULY 2015
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

NUTRITION

HERE’S TO A Slimmer Summer!

BHAVI NIRAV

By BHAVI NIRAV

Summer Solstice on June 21 marked the beginning of summer ... change of season. The body itself can be seen to be physically affected by seasonal change. Within the body is the Pineal gland controlling some of the internal clocks, which are affected by the movement or journey of the Sun. Pineal gland secretes serotonin. Serotonin is most known for its role as a “feel good” hormone. Less serotonin is converted to melatonin during summer, which results in increased levels of serotonin associated with feelings of happiness and relaxation. Hence, many people experience an increase in energy as the sun moves through the spring and summer pathways.

How does summer aid in weight loss?

Let’s make most of the summer season and shed some extra weight. Instead of a fixed diet regimen, crash diet, high protein diets experiment with intermittent fasting.

What is it: You eat your normal amount of food in a smaller time frame. There are quite a few methods of intermittent fasting but the simplest one is stated here. It's not a diet; it's just a pattern of eating that reduces your eating window each day to about eight hours. For example you eat first meal and 11 a.m. and last meal at 7 p.m.

Why: It is an effective fat-burning tool. When you eat food, the body has to produce insulin to keep your blood sugar at a safe level. Insulin's main job is to transfer excess glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream over to the muscle, liver or fat cells for storage. But insulin doesn't only take sugar out of the blood – it also increases fat storage. It is much easier for your body to burn fat in the fasted state because your insulin levels are low.

When sugar is not needed as a primary fuel, your body will also not crave it as much when your sugar stores run low. The other mechanisms that makes fasting so effective for weight loss is the fact that it provokes the secretion of HGH — a fat-burning hormone that has many well-recognized “anti-aging” health and fitness benefits.

Fasting, it turns out, has a number of health benefits that most people seek: from improved cardiovascular health by reducing blood lipids, blood pressure, markers of inflammation, oxidative stress and reduced cancer risk, to gene repair and longevity.

Intermittent fasting is just another tool in your toolbox. Just as eating a healthy diet of real, whole foods, exercising, meditating or doing yoga to reduce stress, sleeping at least 6-7 hours per night.

Continue to self-experiment, and gradually develop a health strategy that works for you, your goals, and your lifestyle.

The part can never be well unless the whole is well. – Plato

Stuffed sweet peppers served with salsa sauce

Rinse and soak quinoa for 4-5 hours, rinse again and add 1 tsp chipotle seasoning. Boil it in pressure cooker or stove for 10-15 minutes. Let the quinoa cool, sauté with cumin. Boil 1/2 cup edamame and pulse in chopper about 3-4 times. Add the herbs to quinoa and fold edamame in the mixture. Add some red chili powder and lemon juice to the mixture. Core the sweet peppers coat it with olive oil and bake them for 10 minutes. Take out the peppers and stuff them with the quinoa filling. Top it with avocado slice and a drizzle of cream cheese. Bake peppers for another 15 minutes. Serve it with salsa !

To our health!!!

Bhavi Nirav is a Registered Dietitian/M.S., R.D., L.D., certified yoga practitioner, and can be reached at swarayog@gmail.com

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