TIP#7

CHOCK FULL OF VITAMINS AND MINERALS- PUMPKIN

As a child I remember whenever  pumpkin was cooked it was greeted with lot of sneering and sulking. Pumpkin used to be an inseparable accompaniment with pooris and alloos,  and I always despised it. But know as I became aware of this vegetable as a rich source of vitamins  like vit A, C, E, niacin, folic acid,  copper and iron and antioxidants like beta carotene. It is good source of dietary fiber with zero cholesterol. This is what makes it a current rage among people looking for healthy heart, slimmer waistline and good vision.

For my patients pumpkinn is good as a source of nutrients and fiber. Studies have found protective effect of pumpkin in carcinoma prostate and intestines. The antioxidant beta carotene fights free radical. Vitamin A and E are important for healing.

Make a smooth soothing pumpkin soup to get the best nutrients in best form.

Recipe- sauté some 4-5 flakes of garlic and finely chopped onion. Add diced and peeled pumpkin (about ½ kg)(need not deseed) and 3-4 tomatoes. Add water and salt. Steam, puree/blend . Serve with  a little dollop of butter and black pepper powder.

You can modify the recipe with your imagination and according to your taste buds.

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TIP #6

SPLURGE ON PROTEINS

Cancer therapy, be it surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, all result in extensive trauma even to normal tissue. We need to take care of aggrieved tissues and promote healing and preservation of normal tissues. Proteins are the building blocks of body and an important nutrient necessary for healing. They are also crucial for the immunity of the body. For all these reasons you have to include ample amount of proteins in your diet.

Proteins are slow to digest. A meal rich in proteins results in fullness and early satiety. So take frequent portions of protein rich diet supplementing it with carbs (breads or  rice ), salads or vegetables.

SOURCES OF PROTEINS-

  1. For vegetarians pulses, lentils, sprouts and cottage cheese (paneer) are rich sources of proteins. Other things that can be included are broccoli, mushrooms, milk, French beans and small quantity of nuts.
  2. Non vegetarians should include egg whites, fish, steaks and lean meat in their diet.
  3. Ready to consume protein fortifying powders are available, but they don’t go down well with many patients. They say it results in nausea and fullness.

My suggestion is to have small portions of freshly cooked dishes. Have them frequently.

How to make your meal protein rich-

  • Dice cottage cheese into small pieces, garnish with grated ginger, mint leaves and black salt.
  • Add sprouted legumes and paneer to your sandwiches, salads, soups and parathas.
  • Add soaked chia seeds to your curd and milk shake.
  • Make a porridge of quinoa.
  • Broccoli and mushrooms blend very well with each other. Sauté them and eat as salad or boil to make a soup.

Enjoy…….. savour  the taste….feel your body rejuvenate…..

TIP#5

WATER- Drink Aplenty

We all  know how fast does the clear uncontaminated water flows in the taps and what happens to sludge in the drain!!! . The same phenomenon occurs in our body too.

We all know that 70%of our body is water. Water is the medium which takes the nutrients absorbed by the intestines to cell and takes away the Toxins and waste products to the kidney to be flushed out of body. If this medium becomes thick like sludge (due to lack of water intake), it will move slowly, nutreints will reach late to their destination, oxygen supply will decrease, harmful substances will remain in body for longer time and reabsorbed and will also erode the walls of their blood vessels. So intake of adequate amount of water is necesary to maintain the hydration and congenial inner environment.

There is no consensus on adequate amount of water  vital for a person. Someone recommended  that daily intake of water should be  number of ounces equal to  half your body weight. If your weight is 60kgs, you should consume 30 ounces of water i.e. 30×30=900ml of water. According to standard requirement , drink minimum of 1.5-2 lts of  water.

One must-follow routine is to have as much warm water as you can have as first thing when you get up in the morning.  This water will drain all the good  bacteria in your mouth down to your intestine where it helps in digestion. It stimulates motility of your gut and eases your motions . Consume more water in the early part of the day.

You can have your water simply or you can fortify it with various nutrients and make  it palatable. Recipes of infused water are available on internet. One site which is full of plenty of  tempting waters is pearlsipickedblog.wordpress.com.

Some of my recommendations are following additions to 1 litre of water in a glass bottle, which has been refrigerated overnight.

  • Add grated ginger, lemon slice and tulsi leaves.
  • Ginger and mint leaves / cilantro leaves with lemon.
  • Diced peach and plum
  • Apple cubes and cinnamon.
  • Slices of kiwi and pomegranate.
  • Mint and cucumber
  • Diced strawberries and cherries.

TIP#4

TIP #4

GINGER- LEMON INFUSION

Ginger ( Zingiber officinale ) has been used in Indian kitchen for more that four thousand years. Every time you have a common cold or sore throat, first line of remedy in our home is a strongly flavoured ginger tea. It’s now that scientists have been able to prove anti- inflammatory and immune booster property of ginger. The effective chemical is [6] -gingerol. This chemical speicificaaly kills Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. 

NAUSEA and vomiting ae the most disturbing side effects of chemotherapy. It creates a paradoxical situation in the body. The requirement are steep and intake is limited or rather inhibited due to NAUSEA. . NAUSEA can begin as soon as medicines are  injected. Though there has been considerable advancement in the field of antiemetic medicine ginger has proven effects as an anti emetic property. 

It has shown benefits in reliving acute nausea i.e. nausea with first 24-hours. Actually for noticeable effects take 0.5-1 mg of ginger three to four times a day. Ginger can be taken in various forms-

  1. Ginger tea- add grated ginger fragments to your tea and SIMMER TO OOZE OUT THE EXTRACTS.
  2. Infused water- add grated ginger, lemon and twigs of mint leaves, refrigerate overnight and then consume in 24 hour.
  3. Ginger candies.
  4. Curries , salads and vegetables- Add finely grated giner fragments. Thepunget toxic taste of ginger nott only relieve nausea but also offer best health benefits when consumed uncooked.
  5. Pickle- To thin diced ginger add copious amount of lemon and refrigerate and keep eating like a mouth freshner.

n a study published in the Journal of Supportive Care of Cancer, researchers compared the effects of various doses ginger supplements on 744 cancer patients. The study found that between 0.5 and 1mg of ginger:

significantly aids in reduction of the severity of acute chemotherapy-induced nausea in adult cancer patients

 Ginger supplementation significantly reduced the levels of TNF-α and IL-6 

But there are a number of studies that show that ginger actually contains a compound that kills cancer cells! The compound is called 6-Shogaol. There is more and more research about this compound for cancer. In one recent study for example, researchers found:

6-Shogaol has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and anticancer activity.

  1. You are braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.–Christopher Robin
  2. We can boost our immune systems by strengthening our social networks and decreasing stress.–Jane McGonigal
  3. I believe dancing is the best stress reliever.–Dylan Lauren
  4. Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.–Paulo Coelho

 

TIP#3. Curcumin- Turmeric 

Turmeric is a very good antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agent. It’s integral spice in Indian curries imparting a wonderful golden hue. It’s a potent anti oxidant too. The chemical responsible for its efficacy is curcumin.

You can use either powdered dry turmeric or grated fresh roots. Brew a teaspoonful in milk, add some sugar or honey and consume it hot. A mug of milk, morning and evening will be helpful.  Milk will add to the nutritional value.

Readymade preparations of curcumin are also available in capsule form. You can ask your physician to prescribe it.

TIP #2 YOGHURT/CURD/DAHI

One daily chore which I do without fail before winding up my kitchen is making the curd  for the next day.  In most of the households in northern India this tradition has been handed down from one generation to the next and religiously followed till today. It’s a simple task which hardly takes a few minutes and the immense benefits attributed to it make it a worthy one. Moreover we Indians have a fad for  consuming home cooked food which is fresh and free of any preservative.

FOR My friends across the globe Ihave listed the method in simple steps.

Method- To start with you need  small helping of curd which you can borrow from your neighbor 😉 or you can also buy it from a quality dairy or supermarket. Boil a liter of milk and cool it to lukewarm. Mix one teaspoon of curd in this and stir it well. You can use a blender (10sec) to get a frothy mix. Leave it undisturbed overnight. The curd will be well set by morning. Refrigerate it so that it doesn’t leave water or turn sour. The optimum temperature for setting a good yummy curd is 30-40degrees C.  You can make your own innovations to perfect this technique. For example my mom uses thick earthen pots which she bought particularly for this purpose. Another aunt takes the vessel of milk to her air conditioned bedroom so that the lactobacillus doesn’t become overactive in hot weather. Someone told me a sure shot tip for making a perfect curd is to add few stems of red chillies 🌶.  If you some more , do share with me.

Our curd (dahi) is different from the western yoghurt in the method of preparation and type of fermenting agent used. But the nutritional profile and benefits are at par with it. A bowl of curd contains essential nutrients like  vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, potassium, zinc, riboflavin, calcium and phosphorus in addition to daily supply of proteins and fats. It’s a complete food, with just the right balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Just one serving can provide over 25 percent of the daily value of protein and nearly 50 percent of the of calcium.

Yogurt is a good source of probiotics means it contains some microorganisms, bacteria,  which stimulate healthy digestive function and help produce vitamin B12 and K within the body. It’s also a good source of omega-3s, particularly if milk is obtained from grass- fed cows. Those having farms and dairies please make a note!!!!! You can add skimmed milk powder to yoghurt milk before fermentation to boost the protein content in yoghurt.

Yoghurt helps in strengthening immune system of the body. It helps in releasing good chemicals , the cytokines which egg on process of healing in the body. Yoghurt replenishes the normal flora in the intestine which may be lost due to chemotherapy.

In our patients , particularly those on chemotherapy, each and every organ of the body is frayed, each cell writhing under stress of constant torment. Patients have lost their appetite and sense of taste, constipation is often a problem and superimposed infections to make it worse. To make your feed more palatable and nutritious you can flavor it with various add-ons. You can add a tadka of mustard seeds and curry  leaves, dash of ginger, garlic, roasted cumin seed powder, rock salt or pepper. Freshly chopped tomatoes, cucumber, coriander or mint leaves have a very soothing effect on your inflamed mucosa of mouth, stomach and intestine. To enrich the fibre content add grated  and steamed bottle gourd, beet, carrots etc.

In India, yogurt and honey are known as “the food of the Gods” and are a part of festivals and offerings. Do include this in your meals too. My recommendations is a bowl full at least three times a day.

TIP #1-  MORNING WALK. 

5:30 A.M., Morning of 22nd May.

Trrrrnnnnnn….. trnnnnnn……. the fading sound of beacon alarm from my phone disrupted my sweet dreams. 

I caught hold of the phone and slid the snooze button.

Barely had I snoozed…………..

Twing twing….. a finger poked into my arm… Get-up dear, Its time to stick to your resolution.

Me-Ah!!!!  Just five minutes. The school is off today. Girls have their vacations.

He – nothing doing …. Common now….ye you can do it. 

I gathered myself up , tied up my hair, turned on a pleasant face, put on my sneakers and dragged 60 kilos of me to the nearest garden.

I think this is the story in most of the households every morning. Rest few are already there, jogging and walking.

But today what I experienced in the garden was amazing. The moment I stepped in the garden I felt a refreshing wave of scented morning breeze blowing over me like a sweet caress and  songs of cuckoo seemed to be the most melodious music ever heard of. The garden was all colorful with Largerstroemia, amaltas and Gulmohar trees. Greeted and talked to a few people whom I would never have met in my routine. It was alluring to see people of all ages busy in their yogasanas and meditation. Some were loners others were gregarious. But one thing was common, they all were enjoying what they were doing.

Morning walk– The most important advise for our patients is to go for regular light exercise. Nothing is as beneficial as a simple, medium to brisk pace morning walk with which most of the patients have shown commendable compliance.

If a medication existed which had a similar effect to walking, it would be regarded as a “miracle cure”- Liam Donaldson

The health benefits associated with morning walk is no less than “A miracle medicine”, but the only difference is that it comes for free and that is why most of us don’t value it. Had it been available in the market at some exclusive outlet, at an exorbitant price, we all would be running after it.

If I come to enumerate the benefits of morning walk, the list is very long. Morning walk improves our heart and lung function, muscle tone, immunity, skin texture, digestion and motion, sugar levels and cholesterol levels , to name a few. There are many studies which have shown the role of morning walk in fighting as well as preventing cancers. It’s a great tonic for our mental health.

When you are doing your morning walk, let it be “My time”; just you and nature. Let new ideas germinate in your mind, let the worries and tensions wither off and nourish your confidence and determination every morning. Plan out your itinerary for the day. Relive your happy moments. Forget the unpleasant ones. Let the nature touch you as intimately as it can. Let your soul experience the real joy.

This light exercise with a calm mind helps you release endorphins, the good hormone of your body.  As the fresh air goes inside you it helps produce good chemicals, the reactive oxygen species and antioxidants. Both these help our body to fight any negative powers (….read disease) emerging in the body.

We believe all those who read this will make all efforts and start their walks soon. Please do send us your reply. all the best people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!