Pumpkin Seeds. Goodness in a Packet!

Rich source of protein, full of good fibre, low in cholesterol are some of the goodness of pumpkin seeds.

It could help boost immunity, it could help prevent allergic complications and it could taste good.

I was curious, while working in Kuwait, to find my local area colleagues, busy peeling the outer shell on pumpkin seeds and munching on them.

And now I find this, ready to eat, slightly salted and roasted, shelled and attractively packaged pumpkin seeds.

And I can tell you that it’s addictive, so good and tasty; crunchy too.

A fistful of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are part of my health diet.

Try them!

Pumpkin Seeds. Goodness in a Packet!

Live Cricket, After a Long Time!

This is the first international cricket match after the lockdown. Test match between England and West Indies at Southampton. And of course, sans the crowd.

It’s nice watching it live and of course it’s a good time pass for a cricket enthusiast and who’s still on practical lockdown.

IPL (Indian Premier League) missed the April schedule. Really wanted to watch my favourite captain Dhoni in action.

IPL is also about the crowd, and hopefully we will be back soon

Live Cricket, After a Long Time!

Healthy, Traditional and Exotic!

I am always amazed at my wife’s ability to cook many exciting dishes simultaneously when she’s in the kitchen.

I am not a cook, but I have the passion for it. My focus is to make exotic, traditional and healthy items. And I used to do that by making one item once in a while.

Yesterday I decided to make a change. To do a multitasking, like my wife. And here’s the result.

1. Hulled barley boiled, 2. Chakkakuru mezhukkupuratty and 3. A copy of manga thera.

With health in focus and since the usual grains like wheat and rice are unhealthy, I followed expert advice and made barley rice. It’s almost like boiled brown rice with a welcome nutty taste.

Chakkakuru mezhukkupuratty is as traditional as karimeen fry to a Keralaite. This dish of jackfruit seeds is so very good.

And manga thera (Mango Bars) is the most exotic and time consuming item. Here’s a quick fix, just to prove that next summer, I could be making the weeks long process of real manga thera.

On the whole a very satisfying day of multitasking in cooking.

Healthy, Traditional and Exotic!

Book Review. ‘The Diabetes Code’ by Dr. Jason Fung.

Dr. Jason Fung needs no introduction. Many of my followers on the Intermittent Fasting program that I am mentoring, got convinced by viewing just one video presentation by him. So did I!

Intermittent fasting has a profound effect on my type 2 diabetes. The A1C moved down from the sevens to mid sixes and with lower doses of meditation.

That’s when I read the book. As an Indian, loving traditional food, it’s difficult for me to move to a low carb diet. But as a Keralaite, it’s easy on a high fat diet. Just that I should know which is a good fat!

The book shows that sugar is poison. The best I could do is to visit my favourite bakery, less often. I do anyway like brown rice to white rice. So I just switched to a normal carb lunch and a low carb, medium protein and high good fat (Keto) diet for dinner. (I don’t have breakfast as I am on a 16.8 Intermittent Fasting. I still somewhat satisfy my sweet tooth in between lunch and dinner.

Dr Fung says type 2 is completely reversible and curable by just adjusting the diet. That’s true! My readings are normal, just within a week of my adopting the diet mentioned above, and with a quarter of the dose of medication. I could reverse diabetes completely if I ignore my sweet tooth and say bye to medication.

I am most pleased with his explanation of Dawns Phenomenon of raising glucose levels, longer into fasting. Dr. says it’s normal, in fact good as the liver is dumping the excess glucose load. Now I am not worried when the glucose reading is the highest of the day some 17 hours into fasting as long as it’s within a range.

So diabetes need not be progressive, lifelong disease. It’s completely reversible with dietary management. Medicines perhaps make it permanent and worse.

A good read for those with diabetes or those who are worried about it. The Code indeed.

Book available on Amazon where I purchased and perhaps elsewhere.

Book Review. ‘The Diabetes Code’ by Dr. Jason Fung.

It’s Simply Jackfruit, This Time

I have done a few things with jackfruit in the previous seasons. Like making chakka unda (jackfruit balls) and chakka chips (jackfruit chips). In fact some of the chakka undas are still there in our Kochi home.

Some nine full sized jackfruits were worked on in one season.

Now that we’re stuck in Bangalore, it’s not easy to work on full jackfruit without some of the specialty tools. I must also admit that it’s highly priced here while the jackfruits came free from siblings while in Kochi.

So the only option is to get the product, fresh and ready to eat. I got some good ones from a small vendor. I asked for fruits worth 100 rupees. Of course, no bargaining with small vendors, especially now.

Some whole sellers purchased jackfruits from my brother at ₹10 per fruit. Each full fruit has about 30 fleshy ones like in the picture. Converted, that’s about 20 times the price for these ones I bought.

It’s uniquely tasty and now a health food. But the thrill is in making chakka undas. Maybe next season!

It’s Simply Jackfruit, This Time

My First Peanut Butter

My tryst with Keto diet and attempts to reduce further weight had peanut butter playing a role.

Then I was disappointed to read on the label on the peanut butter bottle that there’s added sugar.

Apparently sweeter food sells faster and of course, why should the money minded food industry bother about client health.

That’s when my friend suggested making own peanut butter. And she gave the technique to make it.

Slightly roast fresh peanuts with the outer thin skin and blend well in a processor till the butter consistency is achieved.

All natural and all pure peanut butter is ready.

I am thrilled in making this trial quantity and it tastes good too.

My First Peanut Butter

Standard Chartered Bank and Liverpool FC!

I have had six employers (excluding advisory and consulting roles in another few), all of them banks and among them Standard Chartered Bank. SCB took me to the world. And hence the Bank has a special place in memory and fondness.

That fondness prompted me not to cash in the few shares of the bank that I had when I left. The share price continued a southward trajectory after that, losing over 75% of the value.

English premier league is dear to England and it’s natural for British based banks to be sponsors of one of the league teams.

Standard Chartered Bank picked Liverpool and stayed put. And now Liverpool is league champions.

Perhaps this is the reversal of fortunes. And it should be! It’s well deserved.

Standard Chartered Bank and Liverpool FC!

BOOK BLITZ ‘THE DEFENSE OF EXETER STATION’ BY THOM BEDFORD

I am doing a Book Blitz for the book ‘The Defense of Exeter Station’ by Thom Bedford, thanks to Shalini and her Digital Reads Blog Tour.

Book blurb:
At the turn of the twenty-ninth century, the Milky Way is on the verge of a galactic war. The Combined Systems Alliance continues to expand their territory—much to the displeasure of the Free Planetary Union who, until now, lacked the resources to halt the encroachment. In a bid to wrest control from the Alliance and retake their former colonies, Union agents throughout the Alliance Fleet organize a mass insurgency seizing countless assets. During the ensuing chaos, numerous ships are decimated and millions of lives are lost.
Retired Alliance Commander Tanic Sandorn finds himself stranded on a border station after the Union launches an all-out assault. Fighting against anxieties from the incident that pushed him into early retirement, Sandorn accepts being recalled to active duty and propelled to the front lines. This time, he will protect his crew and the inhabitants of the Exeter star system from any approaching threat—never again will he leave anyone behind.But outnumbered, outgunned, and outflanked, Exeter Station is left running at a fraction of its operating capacity. Sandorn and the Alliance officers on board must strategize quickly and carefully to hold their ground, or they will be forced to surrender the station, the system, and their lives.For fans of epic space operas, like Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series, Jasper T. Scott’s Dead Space series, and David Weber’s Honor Harrington series.
Book links:
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088PPSN87
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B088PPSN87
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53427789-the-defense-of-exeter-station
Website: https://thombedford.com/the-defense-of-exeter-station/
Book excerpt:
Every crew member aboard the Veloz ran from stem to stern working tirelessly to patch every hole in the ship. The damage was critical to the point that nearly half the ship had been evacuated. With so little power available, compartmental force fields were inoperable, leaving only a single fire door between repair crews and the vacuum of space in many areas.
Not a single deck was spared at least some devastation, for as the ship’s superstructure twisted and contorted under heavy firepower, panels came loose and circuits overloaded throughout resulting in debris littering every room and corridor. The floors weren’t only littered with discarded paneling and blown circuitry, but also injured, dying, and dead crew members. The initial unexpected surprise attack caused the most death and destruction, taking over a hundred lives. Then as the battle wore on, further loss of life was inevitable.
The victory was Pyrrhic, but it was a victory, nonetheless.
Author biography:
Thom grew up in suburban Cheshire, England with his parents and brother. During school he had a propensity for creativity, either writing, building models, painting, or programming. Every subject choice was motivated by creating and building, whether it be design technology, graphic design, programming, or creative writing.After studying Computer Science at The University of Manchester, he started working as a Software Developer. Following in his father’s footsteps, he worked as a Technical Consultant in London for several years, then in Data Warehousing back in Manchester.In his spare time, Thom still writes, build models, paints, and programs, but nowadays also listens to a lot of music, watches a lot of films, and enjoys playing computer games.His love for science fiction comes from blockbuster films like Starship Troopers, Star Wars and Star Trek, as well as B-movies like Wing Commander, Pitch Black, and Iron Sky. Computer games like Homeworld, EVE-Online, and Stellaris, and books like Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series, Jasper T. Scott’s Dead Space series, and David Weber’s Honor Harrington series. In other words, sci-fi—particularly space opera—in any media.
Thom currently lives in Cheshire, England, with his wife, Helen, and their two cats.
Author Social media:
Website: http://thombedford.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThomBedford
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/thombedford

BOOK BLITZ ‘THE DEFENSE OF EXETER STATION’ BY THOM BEDFORD

Mango Has a Season. Making it Longer!

Manga Thera (Mango Bars) made through a laborious process using the Kerala local variety of small bunchy mangoes is an all time favourite and a unique delicacy.

My mother used to make the best theras and I wanted to try and make it. But this season is taken away by the virus.

Recently my daughter sent me a recipe of making rolls or bars with raw mango and chilli powder. So I got the Bangalore local variety Totapuri.

That’s when the idea struck me, how about manga Thera with ripe Totapuri! Totapuri is local, pest and pesticide free larger mangoes which are cheap too.

But I don’t have the wherewithal to make it the traditional style in Bangalore. So innovate.

Here it’s three ripe Tatapuris skinned, de seeded and made into a pulp. Added some rice powder and jaggery. A teaspoon each of ginger and cardamom powder into it and the mix spread on the baking tray.

My wife named it Mango Fudge and this tastes really good.

Mango Has a Season. Making it Longer!

Best Wellness Program and Some Ground Realities!

I am mentoring a group of over 70 wellness enthusiasts on Intermittent Fasting. Some of them asked for my own experiences on the program and here’s what i have shared with the group.

Broadcast on Intermittent Fasting:
I am attempting a guide to follow here, based on personal experience and learning:
Some of the purported health benefits of intermittent fasting include:

  • Weight and body fat loss
  • Increased fat burning
  • Lowered blood insulin and sugar levels
  • Possibly reversal of type 2 diabetes
  • Possibly improved mental clarity and concentration
  • Possibly increased energy
  • Possibly increased growth hormone, at least in the short term
  • Possibly an improved blood cholesterol profile
  • Possible lowering of blood pressure
  • Possibly longer life
  • Possibly activation of cellular cleansing by stimulating autophagy
  • Possibly reduction of inflammation
  • Achieving autophagy stage has benefits including:
  • prevention and even reversal of Alzheimer’s
  • Prevention and even reversal of Parkinson’s disease
  • Prevention and even reversal of cancer
  • Anti- aging
    Personal Experience:
    I have been practising intermittent fasting since January 19, 2019 with very little exceptions. I am on a 16.8 schedule which is in practice has been 17.7.
    I can confirm:
  • increased energy
  • Weight loss
  • Fat reduction
  • Improved concentration
  • Better frame of mind
  • Happiness in looking at self in mirror
    Additionally I have seen positive effects on diabetes. I have reduced medication ( metformin) to a fourth of the original dose.
    And when I tried avoiding certain food and worked on reducing belly fat, the readings were normal even without medication.
    The enhanced energy is a sure benefit and it helped me to get into crazy amounts of physical activity.
    My recommendations:
    (Those who are on any kind of medication, please consult doctor before trying these. And those with diabetes, in addition to doctor’s advice, please monitor blood sugar, say three times a day, like I do).
  1. Follow the 16.8 schedule and try if you can do a OMD (one meal a day) once a week. 17.7 or 18.6 are better as autophagy starts from there.
  2. Eat sensibly during the eating window. If more weight loss is desired, follow a Keto diet.
  3. Avoid sugar as far as possible. Fructose is much more dangerous than glucose. Sadly fruits and vegetables have fructose. So have them in moderation. Added sugar in processed foods may be avoided. Chances of them using HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) is high as it’s cheaper and gives food longer life and taste. HFCS is bad.
  4. Exercise regularly. Moderate workout is good. Also so HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is beneficial, if you can do it. As a guide; moderate, medium and high workouts are where the heart rate is less than 60% , 60-90% and 90% of your maximum heart rate for workout. Maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. As such the maximum heart rate for a 40 year old is 220-40=180.
  5. Try and learn workout and diet program to reduce belly fat.
  6. It’s difficult to suggest an ideal food menu. But avoid processed foods as far as possible. Then try and reduce carbohydrates. Include some amount of protein. And try and include maximum of good fat. Bring in nuts, avocado etc into menu. If you follow a Keto diet program, you get a solution here
  7. Fasting window is for fasting. Ideally have only water. You can have black coffee or green tea in desperate situations. The benefits of fasting will make clean fasting a welcome habit.
    Good luck and stay healthy.

For information 16.8 schedule means 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating window

Anyone interested in joining the group and receive updates, please let me know.

Best Wellness Program and Some Ground Realities!