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If you are a beer drinker, but are conscious of your weight, you might have been sold on the marketing of low carb beers recently. Apparently, since their inception, sales have gone through the roof. Unfortunately, we are the bearer of bad news.

Though carbohydrates are getting a bad rap of late, it’s not them alone that are important for your weight. It’s the total number of kilojoules, that is most important. And unfortunately, most of these low carb beers have similar (usually slightly less) total kilojoules as their more conventional counterparts. This is not to mention the fact that they have the same amount of ‘alcohol’, which of course, seems to be overlooked in the whole debate. If you are thinking about your ‘health’ and not just your weight, then that alcohol factor is even more of a consideration. They are low carb (sort of), not low alcohol.

Summary:

If you like a beer and you enjoy these low carb varieties, then fine, you may as well drink these. However, if you are drinking these on the understanding that they are in some way healthier or that you can drink more of them without putting on weight, you are mistaken.

Sorry, but it is once again a marvellous example of terrific marketing masking the real truth.

We often emphasise the importance of eating in a settled way to ensure proper digestion and avoiding many of the problems associated with food.

So today, I want you to make a special focus on eating a ‘proper’ lunch(or dinner if suits)…and see if you notice the difference.

Ghee is clarified butter. Although it is prepared completely from butter, its properties, according to Ayurveda, are very different from butter itself.

In many cases, ghee is recommended to be used in the diet. Even though ghee is understood not to raise cholesterol levels, if you have a cholesterol problem, check with your doctor / consultant before using ghee. If this has been recommended for you, you may either purchase ghee – consult whoever prescribed it for you as most commercial ghee is not very good. Home made ghee is always much better.

There are two ways to prepare the ghee yourself:

Fri, Aug 31, 2012

Hi Mark,

We attended one of your seminars held by ATPM and receive and enjoy your newsletters and thought of you with our question. Jane and I have been house hunting for some period now and have found a home that ticks every box bar one, the home has a coat hanger power line that runs within 80 metres of the home.

Is this a genuine cause for concern from a health point or a reason to haggle harder?

Would appreciate your thoughts Paul and Jane Hansen

1. Brighten Things Up – Make a ‘Cheerier’ Workplace

In the pursuit of looking sleek, modern & professional, many workplaces can tend towards darker interiors, cold furnishings and a generally ‘smart’ yet not so healthy work environments.

Too much heavy/dark colours etc can tend to dull the mind and even contribute to lack of vitality and even depression.

With people spending 8 hours plus ‘in the office’, one of the most profound ways to increase morale, positivity and general health is to brighten up your workplace environment.

After giving you the bad news about chocolate a while back, I wanted to be nicer for a while, but I recently received an email asking if I could explain about ‘microwave ovens’, eating ‘microwave food’ etc (thanks Helen). So here it is.

The news is not good, if you prefer ‘ignorance is bliss’, now might be a good time to ‘accidentally’ have something better to do! When we think of ‘natural’ health & wellbeing, it would make sense that we would want to ‘cook’ our food in a ‘natural’ way.

You may not realise but most commercial sunscreens are toxic. Seriously. If you think that because they have been sold in chemists and the like for decades they are safe, you are horribly wrong. What you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body and most sunscreens are full of toxic chemicals.

If you are arenít aware of all this, check out a recent article by Dr. Peter Dingle he is not some faceless internet site scaremonger, he is the Associate Professor in Health and the Environment at Murdoch University, Western Australia

If you just want the basics,

  1. avoid using sunscreens as much as possible
  2. when you do have to use them, go for ones made of natural ingredients. E.g. ones that are;
    1. organic (this ensures most toxic ingredients will not be present)
    2. labelled free of synthetic chemicals (don’t go for ones labeled natural necessarily as this can be part of the name not a reputable claim
    3. labelled that ALL ingredients are listed (otherwise they often leave off the harmful ones)
    4. have ingredients that resemble food ingredients (e.g. plant-based oil, green tea, vitamin E)

The one I use if ever needed is called Soleo and Wotnot. Good for young kids also. We order ours in Australia from No Nasties (look under Body category)

Like to reduce your chances of suffering from any allergies, hay fever etc this spring or just want to re-energise & trim up after a heavy winter?

Spring will soon be sprung so now is the time to eliminate the causes of these imbalances.

Like to add massive anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, digestion/metabolism boosting activity to your body each day?

Sometimes we can get so consumed analysing calories, fat ratios, vitamin, etc, we forget about the unbelievable power of traditional herbs/spices – not the KFC variety!!!

As a rule, we westerners don’t use spices nearly enough, so if you are not already, add some or all of the following into your cooking to start reaping some amazing benefits.

Did you scrape your tongue this morning?

Good news. Another ancient health practice has recently been accepted and promoted by modern experts

Have you been to buy a toothbrush lately, and noticed many companies marketing a tongue cleaner on the back of their brushes? Promoted as a way to rid yourself of bacteria that accumulates on the surface of your tongue, they actually have a lot of merit.

Which direction does your desk face? Do you think your work performance is affected by whether you are facing North, South, East or West? It does.

Fascinating cutting-edge research in the field of neuroscience, shows how facing a certain direction is critical for integrated brain functioning and maximum mental performance.

Is water good for weight loss?Do you know someone (yourself even) that eats ‘moderately’ sized meals, exercises, is always drinking lots of water etc, but still can’t shift those excess kilo’s? Frustrating huh?

There may be a reason – here’s something to think about (even if you aren’t trying to lose weight).

Three people get stressed at work, one has a nervous breakdown, one has a heart attack and the other develops diabetes.

Why do three different people on the same exercise program get three completely different results?

Have you ever wondered why any of the millions of diets that have been invented, none ever work for everyone?

In fact, if you looked closely, you would find that any diet or exercise regime, works great for about one third of the population, is averagely successful for another third, and for the other third, they are downright damaging to one’s health.

Why is this so?

Just had my first salt room therapy session. What’s salt room therapy you might ask? It’s a new natural therapy that is showing tremendous potential and results for helping with conditions such as sinus troubles, if ever, asthma, pain, bronchitis, allergies, eczema, snoring and general energy levels.

Here’s a good little tip for knowing how much exercise/activity to do on any given day. Ideally, we should be so in tune with our body (from being ‘self-referral’ / listening to our body), that we ‘just know’ when & how much to exercise. However, a good objective way to guide you is through your ‘waking’ heart rate.

According to the time-tested principles of Ayurvedic medicine eating heavy hard to digest foods at night is the seed for all disorders – from fatigue, excess weight through to serious disease.

These problems are magnified if also eating late. Eating a ‘light’ dinner (according to appetite) reasonably early (digested by the time you go to bed) is one of the single most important things you can do for your lifelong health, happiness and personal performance.

*Perfect for fresh, hot, cooked, convenient & tasty meals…whenever you want

Ideal for Vegetable Pasta, Rice, Semolina, Dhal, Noodles etc

For pasta, semolina, cous cous, noodles etc

Best to cook as normal & put in thermos (pre-heated with hot water). If you don’t want to cook first, put all ingredients (veggies & grain) in thermos & add corresponding boiling water so that they cook in the thermos. The exact amount of water needed will vary depending on how much grain you use (see packet) & how good your thermos is. At first, err on the side of extra water and reduce to suit. Use fresh herbs & add salt etc at time of eating.

For Rice & Dhal

Quantities based on 700ml Thermos Flask

  • 2 heaped tablespoons yellow mung dhal (wash well)
  • 2 heaped tablespoons white rice (wash well)
  • 11/2 cup fresh vegetables – cut to a size that will fit into the thermos
  • * Spices to taste – e.g. mustard seeds, cumin, coriander, asafetida (hing), turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee
  • 2 cups water

In a pot gently fry spices in about 1 tablespoon of oil/ghee for a few seconds, add water, mung dhal and rice. Cook for 10 mins. It is not necessary for the grains to be fully cooked, they will cook in thermos. Stir in chopped raw vegetables. Bring everything to a boil. Without wasting time spoon mixture into a pre-heated thermos flask. Screw lid on quickly, and leave thermos flask closed for approximately 4 hours. The meal will cook and be ready to eat in approximately 4 hours.

Note:

You may need to experiment with quantities and cooking times. If the time between cooking and eating is 5-6 hours then a shorter cooking time would be adequate. Heavier lentils and beans may need more than 10 minutes of cooking time. They should be cooked first after frying the spices: then add rice, and then vegetables etc.

Always remember that the mung dhal and rice swell up substantially so that you need a generous amount of water for a nice consistency. Experiment using stock water, coconut milk.

Re; spices: Begin with whole spices such as fresh ginger, whole black pepper, mustard seeds, cumin seeds. Fry them one by one until they turn a light brown and their aroma is brought out. Then add the ground spices such as ginger, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, pepper. (Note: a spice is generally used either whole or ground in one dish; not both ways).

The following sequence and combination is common.

1. Mustard seeds until they pop.

2. Cumin seeds until flavour is brought out and light brown.

3. Fresh chopped ginger until it is light brown.

4. Ground turmeric, other spices to taste

This is a great little recipe for having on dry biscuits, or dipping celery or carrot sticks etc. into. Great as an afternoon snack, or for serving at lunch/dinner parties for your friends.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches fresh basil
  • 2/3 cup unsalted cashews
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Approx. ½ – 1 tsp unrefined sea salt or good quality, natural salt e.g. Himalayan Crystal salt
  • Optional (Mark loves this) – Organic coconut cream

Preparation

  • Place all ingredients into a blender (a good quality one that can handle nuts) and mix.
  • Add a couple more nuts if your mixture is too liquidy, or add some more olive oil if it’s too dry.
  • Use more or less coconut cream, salt or lemon juice to taste.

Also known as Vegetable Fritters.

Kids and adults alike love these. This recipe is based on the Indian Pakora, which is a fried vegetable fritter dish made with besan (chickpea) flour. When the fritters are cooked with this flour it adds flavour and crunchiness. They are ideally served with chutney.

Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins

Quick Tip:

  • If you have a food processor, to save time, instead of grating the vegetables, put them all together and chop them up in the processor.
  • To make your own Besan flour, add dry chickpeas in small batches to a food processor, coffee grinder or blender and process until pulverized and smooth. Then run through a sieve to remove any large particles. Use as directed in the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Besan Flour – ¼ cup
  • Wholemeal Flour – 1 cup
  • Coriander powder – ½ tsp
  • Turmeric – ½ tsp
  • Garam Masala – 1 tspn
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Ghee or Olive Oil – appx 1 Tblspn – for shallow frying.
  • 4 cups of grated/finely chopped seasonal vegetables – a combination of any if the following depending what you have in the fridge: eg. Pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, zucchini, red capsicum, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, leek, fennel.

How to Make:

1. In a medium bowl, mix the besan and wholemeal flour together. Stir in the coriander, turmeric, garam masala and salt.

2. Make a well in the centre of the flour mix. Gradually pour in the water and mix to form a thick, smooth batter.

3. Add the grated vegetables into the flour mix and combine well.

Ingredients:

  • rolled oats/oatmeal or ground semolina – both available at health food shops and some supermarkets)
  • turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, ground ginger, saffron (optional)
  • fresh dates and/or raisins
  • raw or preferably unprocessed sugar (Rapadura or Muscovado)

How to Make:

In a saucepan, before turning on any heat…

  • add about 1/2 a cup per person of oats or semolina
  • add milk according to the consistency you like (usually about double the quantity of oats or semolina* If trying to lose weight, instead of using skim milk, use 1/2 milk and 1/2 water
  • Stir the mixture to an even consistency before adding heat (this will reduce lumps)
  • Put on low/medium heat and while regularly stirring…
  • Add cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric & ground ginger – 1-2 pinches per person
  • Saffron – 4-5 hairs (optional)
  • 1-2 dates cut into small pieces or 15- 20 raisins
  • Sugar to taste
  • Continue stirring (and adding more milk or hot water if needed) until cooked.

This will be just a few minutes with semolina or oatmeal but longer with rolled oats (see packet).