Sunday, July 1, 2007

Dharma of Food: How to Eat

- Most importantly, please do not compare the side dishes or anything prepared using the healthier alternatives (as described in this method) with your previous recipes. See if they are tasty or not and if you are able to enjoy them or not.

- Squeeze lemon juice on your side dishes while eating if they feel a little bland

- Mix some Spicy Peanut Powder or a Chutney to your side dish if it feels a little bland

- Use a few more green peppers than before to compensate for missing ingredients or low salt etc

- Eat large amounts of side dishes to ensure you are eating enough vegetables and compensate for low salt. For example, to eat 3-4 rotis, you should be able to eat a pound or more of vegetable side dish.

- Reduce the amount of salt you use using alternatives such as lemons, raw mango, aam choor powder (dried mango powder) etc. Your goal is to either give up or reduce the salt added "considerably". As a guideline, you should aim to reach a point where you can enjoy eating a cup of daal cooked with vegetables and green leaves with the addition of only 1/4 tsp of salt. A pound of vegetables cooked using the recipes here should not need more than 1/4 tsp of salt.

- Use a “quarter tea spoon” to measure salt, not your palm.

- Use various forms of nuts, seeds, coconut, soy beans for your fat intake. Soy beans and flax seeds provide you superior quality heart healthy fats.

- Use only chillies, onions, coriander leaves, curry leaves, mint leaves, black gram and chana daal (bengal gram) in place of spices. Use the other spices and herbs as minimum as possible on special occations or for special recipes.

- Use whole ingredients as much as you can. For example, use whole toor in place of toor daal. For daal, there are many other lentils available in whole form such as moong, moth, masoor, black-eyed peas, kidney beans etc. Start using these in place of toor daal to ensure you are eating more of the whole lentils as well as taste. For example, daal cooked with whole lentils needs much less salt than toor daal.

- Stop using white rice as the main course of your meals. Use brown / unpolished rice, fox millet and other millets, cracked wheat to prepare rice and rice like main dishes; whole wheat flour, sorghum, raagi (red millet flour) etc to prepare your breads. You can mix small quanitites of soy flour to your bread flour, if you do not get bloated with it.

- Learn to keep the skin on for your vegetables. For example, do not skin your potatoes, long squash etc. Fruits too - do not peel the skin of your apples, learn to eat the sections of oranges – not just the pulp

- Eat fruits, vegetables and nuts for snacks – not chips and fries

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