Thursday, January 29, 2009

Red Meat that is Healthy

Can you imagine being able to eat red meat again without any guilt? Imagine that this red meat is lower in fat than beef, turkey, chicken, fish, and even ostrich. Imagine that this red meat is higher in protein than beef. Imagine that this red meat tastes wonderful.

Well, imagine No More. There is indeed such a meat - It's Buffalo Meat. I was watching the Asian Food Channel not too long ago, and they featured this restaurant in US that made Buffalo steaks, Buffalo burgers etc... at first i went "Ewwww", but then all the people who ate it said, it tasted just like beef and they couldn't tell the difference. They also flashed the nutrition facts of buffallo meat, and its higher in Protein than Beef (for all those body builders who are looking for more protein in their diet) and less fat than even skinless chicken (for all those who want to eat red meat without the additional baggage). All the taste, without any of the guilt. Of course when i heard all this info, i was like... that's great news, but we will never see it in Malaysia, so what's the point.

And just last week, i was surprised to see the Giant near my house selling Buffalo Meat from India. The price averages around RM 10 for a Kilogram so its still pretty affordable. To all the Hindu's out there... its "halal" for you to eat. So you are no longer stuck to just mutton when it comes to red meat. Try it out and see. I made some burger patties out of mine, but i overdid the salt and some of the spices. So let me refine the recipe before i post it up here for you guys.

Below are the nutrition facts of Buffalo meat (per 100 grams serving) compared to all the other meats.

Look forward to hearing your comments on this wonder meat, especially if you have tried it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Top 5 Cures for a Hangover

I was listening to Rick Dee’s Weekly top 40 over the weekend and was listening to his Top 5 cures for hangovers. Sounds like useful facts. Hope it helps all you drinkers out there.

Number 5 – Eat a hearty Breakfast.
After a heavy night of drinking, you need to eat a hearty breakfast. A hearty breakfast which is high in fat and protein actually helps to absorb all the toxins from the alcohol, hence removing it from your system quickly. Not the best for your wasitline and your health, but great for getting rid of that nasty hangover.

Number 4 – Drink Lots of water
Alcohol is a like a sponge for body fluids. Hence after drinking, your body will be totally drained and all that water needs to be replenished. It is recommended that for every glass of beer you drink, you drink the same in water. So if you drink 5 pints of beer, you will need to drink 5 pints of water. I am guessing that when it comes to hard liqour, each shot of liquor should be balanced with one full glass of water.

Number 3 – Take Panadol
OK, US people are not familiar with Panadol, but he did mention some drugs which are equavilent to our all purpose Panadol. So Panadol is not just an antitode for fever. It’s a great drug that helps with hangovers as well. The key is to take medicines that do not upset your stomach. Pills that say it should be taken after food are usually the kind that will iritate your stomach. So pain killers are a big NO NO. This is because your stomach has already been iritated with all the alcohol, so adding more iritants to your stomach will not help. Stick to Panadol. It works just as fine without iritiating your stomach. Truly a wonder drug.

Number 2 – Sleep
After a heavy night of drinking, your body is working overtime to breakdown all the alcohol and get it out of your system. Hence sleeping will allow your body to do this process faster without over exerting it with other activites. I personally believe that Number 4, 3 and 2 is the best way to get rid of your hangover. After a night of drinking, drink a ton of water, pop a couple of Panadols and get a good nights sleep. If you wake up and still feel like you just got hit with by a train, pop 2 more panadols, drink more water and off to bed again. You will wake up fresh as if you never drank.

The Number 1 for a hangover – Don’t get drunk in the first place.
He he he. I guess most of you would have seen this coming. But yes, the best way to prevent a Hangover is to not over drink the night before. Key word is not to overdrink. So know your limits and stay within that if you want to avoid a hangover.

Anyway, look forward to hearing your comments, especially from our regular, Mr. AD. I know this is not 100% related to fitness, but I think it is still related to health and your wellbeing.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Eat Carbohydrates and lose weight

If you love eating carbs, you are going to love this posting. Did you know that not all carbs will make you gain weight? There are some carbs which are actually safer on your wasitline than others? All this difference between how quickly you gain weight weight is dependant on a simple thing called the Glycemic Index.

Glycemic index or GI for short, is a rating given to carbohydrates depending on how fast a particular food will be turned into sugar once it enters our body. So the faster the food breaks down into sugar, the higher the GI will be. The slower it breaks down, the lower the GI will be. Needless to say, foods with high GI will promotes weight gain and foods with a low GI will be friendlier to your gut.

Why? As you know simple carbohydrates like white rice turns into sugar almost immediately once it enters your body. Unless your body has a need for all that energy immediately, all that sugar (which is energy food) will be stored away as fat as your body can’t use it just yet… in other words, saving it for later. So if you eat lots of food with a high GI and don’t have the appropriate level of activity to use all that energy, you will gain weight.

Foods with a low GI takes time to break down, and hence releasing sugar into your body at a slow and steady pace. Unless you work as a construction worker or a full time athlete, the amount of activity you do on a day to day basis is quite low which also means, the amount of energy you need is low. Hence, the low GI food which breaks down slowly, will release sugar slowly into your system, keeping it balanced and releasing just what you need – which also translates to less fat being stored.

Besides weight loss, foods with a low glycemic index also

- Increases the body's sensitivity to insulin
- Improves diabetes control
- Reduces the risk of heart disease
- Reduces hunger and keeps you fuller for longer
- Prolongs physical endurance Helps re-fuel carbohydrate stores after exercise

The best technique for eating the low GI way is simply a "this for that" approach - ie, swapping high GI carbs for low GI carbs. You don't need to count numbers or do any sort of mental arithmetic to make sure you are eating a healthy, low GI diet.

- Use breakfast cereals based on oats, barley and bran (corn flakes has pretty high GI)
- Use breads with wholegrains
- Reduce the amount of potatoes you eat
- Enjoy all other types of fruits and vegetables (watermelon has a high GI as well)
- Use brown rice or low starch rice (basmati rice is also a good choice)
- Enjoy pasta as they have low GI (compared to the mamak yellow noodles)
- Eat plenty of salad vegetables with a vinaigrette dressing (or lime juice)

For more foods and their GI and what you should be eating and what you should not, do check out this link

Check it out and see. There are loads of successful diet plans which have come out over the years based on GI. As these are scientific facts, you can be sure it works. Look forward to hearing your comments.

Monday, January 5, 2009

5 simple tips to healthier eating

Everywhere i go, everyone is asking me... how do i lose weight. To be honest, the simple answer is to work out more and eat less unhealthy food and more healthy foods. But yet, people still want that miracle like "oh just watch TV for an additional hour and watch the fat melt off". Sorry folks, no such thing. It all comes down to your own effort and determination.

But don't worry... its not all that hard. I would like to share with all of you - 5 simple tips which you can start doing today to eat right and lose weight. And trust me, its not that hard to do

Tip#1 - Avoid Fried foods
Fried Mee, Fried Chicken, French Fries, Fried Maggi, goreng pisang... please cut these out. If you are serious about losing weight, avoid these foods. Now, i am not saying you can never ever eat them again in your life. You know it is bad, so just eat it sparingly. The more of it you eat, the more weight you are going to put on. The less you eat, the faster you will lose weight. So the choice is yours.

Tip#2 - Reduce Intake of Sweet Drinks and sweet foods.
Do a quick count of how many sweet drinks you have in a day. If its 5 drinks, cut it down to 4. Then after 1 month, cut it down to 3 and so on. You get the picture. The worst sweet drink to have is Sodas and colas. Its just sugar with no nutrition value at all. Ideally, you should try yo cut it down to 1 or 2 sweet drinks a day. Don't waste time with telling your mamak - kurang manis. Some times they do, sometimes they jsut don't care. Safest is to control the number of drinks you have.

The same goes for sweet foods such as cakes, candies, chocolates etc. Cut it out from your daily diet and use it instead as a reward. Maybe treat yourself to one slice of cheese cake if you follow these 5 tips for 1 full month and have some reduction in weight. It's a great way to motivate yourself and keep going till you reach your ideal weight.

Tip#3 - Switch whites to wholemeal
If you eat a lot of white carbs like white rice, white bread etc, make a switch to wholemeal or high grain / high fiber stuff. It does make a difference. Of course if you are eating out, you can't tell your mamak you want a serving of brown rice or high fiber rice. So instead, cut it down (maybe just 3/4 of the helping) or eat other things like chapati or "Pollunggu Arasi" or Indian rice. This has less starch content than normal white rice because of the way they cook it. Important note, not all mamaks have this... its usually found in authetic indian restaurants and those that serve banana leaf. So make the small switch. Wholemeal isn't as bad as it seems

Tip# 4 - Eat more fruits and vegetables
This goes without saying. Not only is this stuff good for you, it will help you lose weight. Why? It's high in fiber, which means it fills you up fast and because it has fiber, it takes time to break down ... which means you stay full longer. So you don't have to starve to lose weight. Reduce your carbs and increase your intake of these wonder foods. You will be surprised at the results. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, of course the sweeter the fruit, the higher the content of sugar compared to others which aren't as sweet. So choose wisely.

Tip# 5 - Stop eating junk
When it comes to junk food, there are 2 broad categories that i have in my dictionary. One is the junk food like potato chips etc and the other is junk food which is processed meat like sausages, nuggets and burgers. If you eat 3 meals a day, stick to your 3 meals and don't snack on potato chips, kacang or other tit bits during the day. All these junk foods have what i call "empty calories". High in calories and fat which go straight to your gut and worst of all, it doesn't fill you up. Ever eat a whole packet of Twisties before? It has a whopping 500 calories, but it does nothing to fill you up. So most times, we eat that feel hungry half an hour later and then try to eat something proper. Double calories. Try eating 500 calories of whole meal bread (which will be about 7 to 8 slices). Feel the difference on how full it makes you feel? So please avoid all unnecessary snacking. If you want to snack, snack on healthy things like muesli bars or breakfast cereal. Stay away from the rest.

As for sausages and nuggets, sorry to say... most of these things are made by churning left over chicken / beef parts which cannot be used for anything else. Then they load a lot of MSG and flavouring, put it in an attractive shape and voila... you have it. These parts include the left over skin, fat, ligaments and other parts which people generally don't buy. I will be posting up a recipe for healthy burgers and healthy nuggets soon, so please try it as it is much healthier than the crap in the super markets.

There you have it guys... 5 simple tips which you can do right now. Best of all, it still leaves a whole variety of foods you can eat out there... so you have options. Try it and let me know what you thoughts are as usual.