Milking your money and health! Jan 30th

This starts pretty early in life.

Your grandma tells you – ghee is sacred. It is the gift of cows and food for gods.

Then your ma tells you – want lustrous hair and skin? Chupchaap take some ghee!

Then your doctor tells you – for easy digestion, make sure you get your share of dahi.

And then you will hear yourself thinking and saying things like – “I felt a little confused when some friends said such horrible things about having milk! Par kya hai na, I go by my gut feeling about these things – I need dairy – milk and all products of milk – to be healthy”.

Whatever role we may be in – grandmother, teacher, vice president, CEO, teacher, mother, sister, banker, whatever – ability to think flawlessly is a great asset. We can all agree that it will come handy in every situation of life. This requires that we go meta, and that means thinking and examining the process of thinking itself.

I’ll share the most commonly seen blocks to sound thinking that I encounter in my work.  

a. accepting inaccurate information.

b. making wrong inferences. 

c. tailoring the information and conclusions to suit one’s bias. 

d. Making unjustified assumptions.

e. Not staying open to listening to reasons.

d. Getting defensive and or resorting to indifference.

And when it comes to this particular topic of dairy, it’s common to see the ethnocentric type of mental blocks. For instance, we say ‘we north Indians,’ ‘we south Indians’, ‘we Hindus,’ and ‘we brahmins’ to justify our position.  

 

We protect and perpetuate our faulty thinking in many ways. Here are some common strategies we indulge in –

a. forming groups with others like yourself – ‘we the dairy lovers,’ ‘we the coffee drinkers’ kind of thing. In a room full of alcoholics, the lone sober guy is the oddball after all!

b. staying passive and unquestioning in relationships – there are many payoffs to believing, “my mother is my encyclopedia!” 

c. cut off or use excuses when critiqued – you become aloof or indifferent with people that don’t agree with your reasoning. Aloofness is one way of cutting off information itself. ‘This is how – I was raised /I am / it works for me – are some examples of excuses.

d. full-blown acting out – having an emotional outburst disproportional to the context or resorting to baseless ‘they shamed me’ stories.

In clinical and hospital settings, it is relatively common to see variations of these blocks and strategies unfold in real-life situations. The intention of sharing it with you is to alert you to your possible flaws of thinking that may come up in the reading and processing of the remainder of this post.  

There is absolutely NO pressure on you to change your behavior. It is entirely your choice IF and WHEN you want to address it. So, take a brief pause, relax, and read further. Read slowly. Assimilate the meaning of each statement in your mind before you read the next one.

Ready?

Let’s start.

The fat and protein content of mammalian milk varies significantly among the species.

It is inversely proportional to the rate of growth at which the baby animal doubles in size. This is to say that an animal that is fastest to double itself in size has the highest protein content in its milk. And it also has a comparatively shorter span of life.

Rat’s milk has 11.8 gm of protein per 100 ml – It doubles its size in 4 1/2 days and has an average life span of 2 years

Cat’s milk has 9.5 gm of protein per 100 ml – It doubles its size in 7 days and has an average lifespan of 2-16 years

The dog’s milk has 7.1 grams of protein per 100 ml – It doubles its size in 8 days and has an average lifespan of 10-13 years

Goat’s milk has 4.1 gm of protein per 100 ml – It doubles its size in 19 days and has an average lifespan of 15-18 years

Cow’s milk has 3.3 gm of protein per 100 ml – It doubles its size in 47 days and has an average lifespan of 18- 22 years

Horse’s milk has 2.4 gm of protein per 100 ml – It doubles its size in 60 days and has an average lifespan of 25-30 years

Human milk has 1.2 gm of protein per 100 ml – Human baby doubles its size in 180 days and has an average lifespan of 79 years

This is to say that a human baby receives a low-protein content food, such as human breast milk. Exclusively, that too – at the time of the highest growth spurt in its lifetime.

While we’re on this topic of milk, let me say this – you may have observed that the fat content of human breast milk is the same as that of cow milk. I only discussed proteins so far. But yes, it is the same or similar percentage of fat content, in the region of 3.7%.

And you may be thinking to yourself – ” Dekha! main na kehti thi ..! ” Wait, I am not finished yet.

The cow’s milk is dominantly saturated fat, whereas human breast milk is not.

So having similar numbers doesn’t mean anything because they are of different composition altogether. This is to say, you can successfully make paneer, junnu, and basundhi out of cow’s milk. But nobody can make ever make paneer, junnu or basundhi out of human breast milk for this reason. Eewww!

You may decide whether dairy consumption is right for you or not right for you. And I sincerely hope your actions will be in alignment with what you think and feel to be correct.

 

 

 

Sugar Is Less And Cardamom Is Too Strong – A Life Lesson

As a kid, I got invited to a bunch of houses reasonably regularly to taste test. I was about 7 – 8 ish, and in particular, this neighbor aunty would give me a taste of every single prasadam she made.

The belief was that a small kid held precedence even to God. And I happened to be the chosen one because she’d get precise feedback. Like this one she remembered from so long ago – ‘मामी, सककरे कम्मि, एलककी तुंबा जास्ति’ – meaning, sugar is less and cardamom is too strong.

I never knew what was so valuable about that at all until one time when I visited her house in my 20s. By this time, we had long moved out, and we were no longer neighbors with her.

And she said this – ‘ you were such a tiny kid and you’d unabashedly tell me such is less, something else is more .. something was sooo sweet about how you’d say it, that I’d also mockingly say it like you all the time!

I’d tell mama*, and wife time is too less, office time is too much’ .. I’d even ask myself that question with everything else in my life, she said.
For instance, ‘I’d be so lonely after you folks moved out – and I’d ask myself, what I need more of and what I need less of.’ Invariably, I’d get the right answer!

More friends, fewer machines.

More gardening, less whining.

More mama*, less Manorama – and she started laughing!
*mama = her husband and Manorama = another neighbor aunty who talks and talks without taking hints to stop

Since that day, I’ve also made it my tradition to ask myself that question pretty regularly.

What do I need more of, what do I need less of?

It is SO useful when I am cooking, blending perfumes or painting.

But it is especially useful for life.

So, my lovely reader, tell me what you need more of and what you need less of?

Here’s what I wish for you, more clarity and fewer distractions and plenty of love!

❤️, g

Sometimes In Life It’s YOU Versus you

“Hey, fry me some pooris no, pleeeease?”

” Hey, make me some paneer bhurji to go with it no, pleeeease?”

The voices inside call out your name, begging you to give in to some craving. Just this ONE time, it pleads!

But you know what, sometimes winning means defeating yourself. 

This happens to be the tag line of the new sports fantasy novel that released, a co-collaboration of Kobe Bryant. It came out just a couple of days ago, and I’m so looking forward to reading it! I really hope you do too.

The current corona phase continues to prey as we are grappling with the chaos and destruction it has left in its trail. And now more than ever, my dear reader, you must not allow your cravings to win the better of you!

Defeating your cravings to eat oily, deep-fried, dairy-rich, meat, and egg-based fatty foods give you a much higher chance of winning the battle against corona.

Here’s a short but informative video I’d love for you to watch. And do what it asks of you!

 

Remember, sometimes defeating yourself is what brings you to sweet victory.

Until next time,
g

“It’s V Hard When People Don’t Like Me .. Why Don’t I Just Go With Whatever They Say?”

Dear reader,

Now and then, it so happens, that I will be reading a book when some words, some guidance, some insights just leap out of the page! And ask to be internalized. Like, that voice inside is SO clear about this instruction.

And I wonder, why is it saying this now? Am I going to need this ?? And in what context??? The questions just pour out from inside! Over the years, I’ve learned to stay calm.

And then, in just a couple of days, the situation will present when the message contained in those words is like a perfect fit. And I’ll hear a faint voice that says – this is why.

Someone in a session asked – “it’s v hard when people don’t like me .. why don’t I go with whatever they say? And then I can do what I want when I’m by myself.”

Here’s what the book fairies had me read –

“who doesn’t prefer being liked to being disliked? The problem is where this desire stands in the hierarchy of your values. Does it stand at the peak, above integrity and self-esteem? The issue is not whether you want to be liked, but what you are willing to give in exchange. The more you surrender to the fear of someone’s disapproval, the more you will lose face in your own eyes, and the more desperate you become for someone’s approval. Within you is a void that should have been filled by self-esteem. When you fill it with the approval of others instead, the void grows deeper, and the hunger for acceptance and approval grows stronger. The only solution is to summon the courage to honor your own judgment, frightening though that might be in the beginning.”

Some insights need to be read, re-read … and above all else, need to be applied time and time again. I can sincerely say I’ve practiced it for a long time .. and continue to do so with this particular one, my reader friend. I hope you, too, will reflect on this gem of wisdom. Just sit with it and see what comes of it for you.

And let’s both send a heartfelt thanks to dear Dr.Branden, who has articulated this truth so eloquently.

Love,

Am Not Sure You Grasped This At All!

My mentor says, “in this day and age, success comes to those who know how to cut out the noise and focus on what truly matters!”

Golden words, isn’t it, dear reader? She often says this to get us on track.

Given just how it snaps me out of mindless activity each time she says it, I now say it to myself several times a day. I shared a video last week. I’m not sure you grasped this part.

I will share JUST ONE fact from the video. Because appreciating just this one finding can transform your life.

In a lab setting, when the researchers want to study diabetes, they induce diabetes in mice. Do you know how it is done?

Take a guess.

Did you say feed excess sugar? Nope.

Did you say feed excess carbs? Wrong again!

 

They feed the mice with excessively fatty foods. And in no time at all, the once healthy mice become diabetic!

The researchers were very stunned by this finding, and they went on to try it with humans. And what do you think happened? The once healthy human subjects developed diabetes promptly.

What else counts as fatty food, you think?

Oil (think pooris), butter (think pav bhaji), cheese ( another name for which is pizza), ghee (that which you may be using in your rasam, roti, rice and I don’t know what else), cream (ice cream), paneer (roshogolla), curd (maybe an everyday staple), to name a few.

So, you may be thinking – okay, Girija! Why the hell are you bothering me with all this talk on diabetes? I don’t have it and am not interested!

It is this same excessive fat that causes insulin resistance. It also causes PCOS, unwanted excessive hair in women, painful periods, irregular periods, imbalance of hormones, making it difficult to conceive and pimples at all ages. I am only naming a handful of most common problems women today face because I don’t mean to upset you.

I also say it so you can recognize how most recipes you get to see in your social media news feed, television shows, and magazines are noise. They make you drool, and they cost you your precious health.

Next week I will educate you further on what this insulin resistance is and how to prevent it. But you have to be an insider to get the video link. Are you signed up for my newsletter?

Acceptance .. What Does It Mean?

Have you given this question a thought as to what acceptance may mean to you?

In the name of respecting each other, people sometimes require us to suspend our thinking faculties.

Let me share a story.

Someone I know happened to phone her dad to ask him to be careful. She shared with him how smoking was making people vulnerable to upper respiratory problems. And how with his age combined with many many years of smoking, it could expose him to deep trouble. Especially now, with all that is going on in the world with this COVID. Being so far away from him that she may not be able to help if things were to go wrong, she expressed her concern.

And what did her dad do?

He yelled back at her asking, do all five fingers look the same?? He angrily told how she should learn to be a little more accepting of people that are unlike her prim and proper self! Be respectful of my choices, he screamed at her.

Huh??

She was so stunned with that response that she did not know what hit her!

To her, it was her dad and his smoking habit, for a vegan person like myself, it could be my meat-eating friend, and with you, it may be a roomie that loves beer for breakfast every day – asking us to be accepting of them.

This is what acceptance means, folks.

Acceptance means not quarreling with facts.

Acceptance in this particular context means to accept that the dad is a smoker. And that he’s very likely addicted to nicotine.

Acceptance means that you make your own arrangements to deal with the reality of a smokey house if you were to visit him at his place. You don’t get to grumble and whine about his smokey house!

Acceptance means that you must be prepared to shell out some money and invite him to a restaurant for a meet ‘n’ chat – for yourself because you don’t want to endure being the passive smoker while you politely hang out with him in his smokey house.

Acceptance means you come to terms that he has all the freedom to buy his cigarettes with his money and smoke all he wants within the confines of his own house.

Oh and, accepting dad has NOTHING to do with accepting his actions. Acceptance is not a behavioral blank-check!!

So, acceptance does NOT mean that you have accepted smoking to be normal. Or correct.

Or that you would fund his habit or sit and smoke to keep him company!

With your friends and family, differences can come with any issue.

No one – no friend, no family – not even your own dad, can require you to suspend commonsense and your ability to think through things, in the name of acceptance.

Having clarity about matters like this is vital if you don’t want people in your life guilt-tripping you.

Love,

g

What’s The Common Thread In Irregular Periods, Weight Gain, Pimples And Diabetes?

In the early 90 s when I was college, we’d think of diabetes, irregular periods, unwanted excessive facial hair, and pimples, much like how we felt about floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes. They were all ‘acts of God.’

If a girl were unfortunate, she would have to deal with the anguish of painful periods. Or take insulin injections for her diabetes during pregnancy.

Worse was when a girl whose engagement was broken came to our endocrine clinic. All because the boy’s side felt she was too hairy. And she was doubly unfortunate as she hailed from an orthodox family and was also getting married into one – and she was not allowed to go to a beauty parlor to get that unsightly hair taken care of.

Do you want to know the common thread connecting all these health issues we face as women?

The answer is high-fat content in the foods we consume. That’s it.

The excess fat we take in by way of animal foods, and fatty plant foods such as coconut and vegetable oils cause what is called insulin resistance.

The insulin resistance then goes on to disrupt many critical cellular activities, causing a cascade of one adverse event after another in every organ system inside our bodies.

In the next email, let us discuss the topic further. Let’s see what is an acceptable amount of fat for us to stay healthy. Hit reply and send your questions, dear reader. I’ll do my best to take as many questions as I can!

Warmly,

g

I’m NOT Teaching Any Recipes!

 

So many of you wrote in asking for healthy recipes!

A healthy way to make pakoras, chips, and sweets 😂 , and brand names of healthy oils. Oh, dear!

Folks, listen to me – here’s the first super easy and perhaps ONLY recipe you’ll need for health.

#1 Learn to eat ingredients.

If you want to lose weight, get over your health issues caused by insulin resistance, you must stop going after elaborate recipes.

Just steamed rice is a complete dish.

Cooked dhal is a complete dish.

Chopped vegetables and fruits are complete in and of themselves.

‘Oh Girija, what are you saying! Don’t you have any need for taste??’

They are all tasty on their own. To me, that is! And if you combine two or three of these, it gets even better.

And if it helps you eat more vegetables, grains, and lentils in their simple and pure form – you may use a little salt, some spices, and cook them minimally.

Above all else, learn to combine taste elements of ingredients elegantly.

Such as mixing the sweet carrots with salty greens and spicy onions and fresh, crisp cucumbers – it becomes tasty like any other elaborate dish, but only healthier!

Put a heap of this salad on cooked rice, salt to taste – it will become a filling pulao type dish.

You can combine colors, textures, tastes of plain vegetables, fruit, cooked pulses, and grains. Chopping a vegetable finely and mixing it with a little fruit makes it so much easier to eat as it becomes juicy.

With minimal cooking, it increases your options even more.

You know what eating this way does to you, dear reader?

a. It frees up your time, money, and mental space from traditional cooking.

b. The highly nourishing – zero nonsense way of eating will loosen your attachment to junk food.

c. You can eat this type of food to your fill without having to count calories or worry about weight gain.

One of my American friends went on a health resort stay recently, which was terrific, by her admission. She came back feeling so much lighter – both in body and mind – and sat down to reflect the one thing that may have led to the result. This is what she concluded – mostly eat what we count as ingredients. She spent upwards of 5000 dollars for this insight!

Love,

g

Three Actions That Mend Period Pains, PCOS And Fatty Liver Will Also Help You Defeat Corona

How much the world has changed in just one week, my dear reader!

It is at times like this that we all value what remains to be our “mundane” familiar. Thank god for that! It is especially at times like now that I want to send gratitude via this post and say ‘thank you for this weekly rendezvous.’ I write because you are there to read it. And you mean the world to me.

Now, I’d like to point something fascinating to you about yourself. Which is right about all of us. And it is this –

If I were to tell you to add something to your day, your diet, or your wardrobe, you’d do it readily.

Add 10 minutes of meditation ya reader. Yes G, will do.

Please take a vitamin in addition to this veggie ya reader. Sure! Will do, G.

Hey, please buy this handbag ya reader, it’s on discount. Aiyyo, why please and all, tell me where to pay up, G.

But if I were to ask you to let go of something from your day, diet, or wardrobe, you’d resist it. Even if that thing were causing undesirable outcomes in your life, you’ll fight and cling to it, refusing to let go.

And this is NOT your shortcoming, my friend. It is a bias. 

Our brains come hard-wired with certain biases. And this is one of them. In the stone age, it was mostly a scarcity of resources that killed our ancestors. Be it of food, clothing, or any other valuable resource – it was a deficit of some kind that cost them their very survival. And our current brain has evolved to factor in this historical data. So, it perceives ‘letting go’ as ‘threat to survival’ even in the face of extraordinary abundance.

A wise person recognizes these biases about our brain and compensates for this error of perception. This is especially true when it comes to matters of health and food. 

In the enormous mountains of data available today, health problems such as

period pains,

PCOS,

fatty liver,

diabetes,

pimples up to Alzheimer’s disease are traced to what we eat and perceive as food.

It almost feels amusing to think how these three actions of –

a. quit dairy

b. quit meat

c. quit eggs

can help us almost defeat all these health problems.

And to this long list of problems, you may now count the new or novel virus, Corona.

I do not know of any dramatic way to present this simply stunning scientific truth in plain sight. I don’t know. It is up to you to take it. Or not.

I’ll see you next week. Stay well.

g

What Can You Do With 30 ml Of Oil For A Whole Month! It Is SO Less :-(

Tell me something – did you think this q yourself anytime?

Even if you haven’t, it’s okay – because I am going to answer it for someone else today – and you can listen in.

I’ve been after people who consult with me to eat less oil. Especially with this COVID threat, and we know that oily foods reduce our immunity.

So when this lady asked me this q on skype, I promised to email her my response. Some things you need to see in writing – on a paper – to grasp the meaning in its entirety.

And you get to see what I wrote for her. Please consider taking a print out of it and stick it on your refrigerator or someplace in your kitchen.

Q: What is the smallest teaspoon measure of oil that I have verified to work well for ONE dosa and tadka for a quantity of 4 people, etc.?

A: 1/8 teaspoon.

Q: How many 1/8 tsp measures are there in 30 ml of oil?

A: 240

Q: How many would that be per week and per day?

A: That would be 60 per week and approximately 8 per day.

Q: How would you use the quota of 8 one eighth tsp measures in a day – please enlist.

A: If I have to answer this Q for myself, I can never use it all up even if I want to! I always find myself having some on hand. Here’s how it breaks down for me –

a. Sambar – 1/8 – the amount of sambar I make and use, keeps for two days

b. Rasam – 1/8 – same as above, lasts for two days

c. Sabji like dry veg curries or gravy-like chole, rajma – 1/8 – keeps for two days

d. Idli – I never oil the plates

e. Dosa – I only oil once every 3-4 dosas

f. upma, poha, jeera rice, mushroom pulao – max 1/4 tsp

Oh and! I forgot to say this – for pressure cooking the toor dhal, I use even lesser than 1/8 tsp. I mostly use just a drop.

A drop (1/64 tsp), a smidgen (1/32 tsp), and pinch (1/16 tsp) measuring spoons are wonderful, even more importantly a necessity, to keep in your kitchen. They are usually found in bakery supplies aisle of your department store.

Now tell me, dear reader, how would you want to think of it –

just 1 ounce 

or only 30 ml 

or oh-wow-240-freaking-1/8-teaspoons of oil??

They are all the same. And not the same too, in a strange way!

Love,

g

PS: For my sanity, I made a rule about 11-12 years ago that I would NOT ever cook anything deep-fried in my kitchen. And I’ve found myself eating deep-fried food outside of home no more than 5-6 times a year. It is ALWAYS unpleasant afterward. And my body is slowly learning to reject it stronger than my tongue craves it – I observe them tussle over it.

Do You Worry You’ll Look Bad If You Said That?

Have you seen your car mechanic sometimes tilt his head and listen to the car sounds intently? I think that’s the cutest sight because it reminds me of my sweet dogs.

I digress. Just like how dogs and mechanics slant their heads to catch any strange sounds, I look for particular words that my people speak when they come for a session with me.

One that gets my attention is this four-lettered word can’t.

‘ I can’t give up milk.’

‘ I can’t let go of coffee ever.’

‘I can’t do this diet thing. It’s too hard.’

After patiently listening to all they’ve to say, I smile and ask – ‘hey, is it can’t do or won’t do?’

‘Of course, I can’t say I won’t, G’ they retort.

Saw that? 

I ask why not.

And they give me some variation of ‘it will make me look like I am lazy/bad/resistant/disinterested.’

No no nooooo.

It will NOT make you look wicked or lazy or disinterested. It will make you seem honest.

And that, my friend, is a game-changer for you right there.

Being sincere about what you’re feeling about milk, coffee, diet, and just everything else in life, really – IS the first right step towards solving the problem – it will only help you arrive at solutions and move you forward, my dear reader.

Love,

g

 

The ONE Guidance I Look Up To When Am Not Feeling Good With Myself

Would it surprise you if I said, that most one on one consultations with me as a dietitian start off with ‘oh Girija, I’m not feeling good about myself in a while now’?

And they go on, ‘I don’t know why but I just don’t even feel like looking at myself anymore.’

At this point, I will considerately encourage them with ‘tell me more.’ And we both begin to see how there is an inevitable dip in the way they’re valuing themselves.

Given how it is the day before Valentine’s day that you and I are having this conversation, it’s good to remind ourselves that the first love relationship that needs to consummate is the one we each have with our selves.

In all this, the first thing to remember is that love is a verb.

How we value ourselves is indeed a powerful thing that keeps changing, reflecting our actions of what we are doing to value ourselves. We can tell tall stories about wanting this and desiring that, but unless we do something about it, it doesn’t count to anything.

And my friend, we all fall into the knowing-doing gap from time to time. Meaning, we don’t do the things that we know to be good for us! This includes me too 🙋‍♀️

When this happens long enough with a particular area of our life, we lose our sense of pride. We don’t like ourselves for how we are behaving. This shows up as ‘I don’t feel good about myself.’

For all such times, I have these precious words of guidance from one of the best psychologists I’ve read in all my life. And I’d like to share it with you. Think of this as my Valentine’s Day gift to you, dear reader.

Here we go –

“Any time you admit a difficult truth, any time you face that which you have been afraid to face, any time you acknowledge, to yourself or to others, facts you have been evading, any time you are willing to tolerate temporary fear or anxiety on the path to better contact with reality – your self-esteem increases. When you persist in your evasions and contradictions, you undermine your self-esteem, because, at a deeper level, you know what you are doing.” Dr. Nathaniel Branden

These words speak to my very soul, dear reader. And it always gets me back on track. I hope you reflect along these lines and see what comes up for you.

Wishing you the best always,

g