Tag Archives: eggs

The EBV meal

As we slowly move our fat behinds and spilling bellies into the 21st century making good food choices becomes more and more of a struggle. For instance, we first had cookies. Then we had Oreo cookies. Now we have Oreo stuffed cookies! Are you kidding me? What’s a fat boy to do?! Not eat it? Blasphemy!

While I’m super excited about what is up next, I’m also petrified about how this is going to cause an uncontrollable downward spiral of our already crashing healths. That being the case, it becomes more and more important to make good food choices on most meals so that we can live long enough to enjoy tomorrow’s awesome treats. One of my recommendations to eating right while still keeping taste, nutrition and satiety levels high is the EBV meal and this is how it works.

You eat beans, eggs and vegetables. Nothing more. Nothing less.

You will need…

  • 2 – 4 whole country/free range eggs
  • 1 – 1.5 cups pre-soaked beans (any kind. mixed is fine)
  • 1 – 2 cups raw vegetables (mixed is fine)
  • 2 teaspoons ghee or coconut oil or lard
  • Salt, pepper, spices and toppings per taste
  • 1 cup milk or yogurt (optional)

You will need to…

  • Make a serving of beans. You can make it the Indian way (daal) or mexican way or american way (chili) or my way i.e cuisineless (add stuff you like and make it taste awesome). Of course, you can very well add your 1-2 cups of vegetables and cook them along with the beans to make the cooking simple.
  • Cook your eggs. Hard boiled, sunny side up, omelet, poached they’re all fine. You can even make this a gravy and add in the vegetables if you choose to.
  • Cook your vegetables. Saute, pan fry, broiled, steamed, baked they’re all fine.Or eat ’em raw if that’s how you roll.
  • Top your vegetables and/or beans with 1-2 tbls of shredded coconut (optional of course) or raw cut onions or green mango or cheese or bacon whatever else floats your boat.
  • Other options:
    • Top the beans with vegetables and eggs.
    • Scramble the eggs along with the beans and/or vegetables.

Nutritionally, you will have consumed…

  • Calories: 500 – 900 kcal
  • Protein: 30 – 55 g
  • Carbohydrates: 50 – 85 g
  • Fiber: 15 – 22 g
  • Fats: 20 – 40 g
  • Vitamins: Plenty (depends on choice of beans and vegetables)
  • Minerals: Plenty (depends on choice of beans and vegetables)
  • Satiety: Very high due to the abundance of protein, carbs and fiber.
  • Taste: Awesome (but that’s only ‘cos I’m a pretty good cook. So suit yourself!)

And you will realize this is awesome, because…

  • The meal is filled with nutrients.
  • The meal is free from gluten, sugar, soy and other anti-nutrients.
  • You can very easily modify the meal to suit your goals be it fat loss or performance or muscle gain or general health – high/low calorie, high/low fat, high/low protein, high/low carb etc.
  • Variety is unlimited ‘cos you can vary the vegetables and beans every time (black, kidney, toor daal, pinto, moong daal, chick peas, double beans, ) and the nutritional value will still stay high up.

So next time you’re out of options for a meal, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, soak some beans, crack some eggs, chop some vegetables and you’re good to go!

Adios!

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Vegetarianism – The glass is half full

The thing about vegetarianism that I’m not a fan of is the focus on foods that ‘cannot’ be eaten. I understand the moral and religious confusion that is binding you to stay away from meat and meat products, but why the focus on the ‘cannot’ or ‘should not‘? Why not focus on the ‘can be‘ and ‘should be’ ? In other words, if you are a vegetarian you have a list of stuff that you don’t eat. But do you have a list of stuff that you should eat? Why not? Why do I hear “I don’t eat chicken ‘cos I’m vegetarian” a lot and never hear “I eat fermented dairy and spinach everyday ‘cos I’m vegetarian”?

You see my point? Why is the glass always half empty and not half full?

What is an optimal vegetarian diet?

Nutrition is nothing more than fueling yourself with nutrients. While there are moral, religious and preferential winds that influence one’s nutritional path, a good diet (and by that I mean the food you eat on a daily basis for any significant amount of time) should focus more on ‘what is needed’ than on ‘what shouldn’t be eaten’. Talking about the vegetarian diet, if you have made the choice (or have been forced to make the choice, as in most cases) to remove meat and meat products from your diet, you better find a nutritionally equivalent if you desire to live without nutritional deficiencies.

In the case of the current Indian vegetarian diet (which is possibly the only case where people are born as vegetarians and have a really hard time even considering starting to eat meat or even eggs for that matter), a replacement does exist – grains. While grains fill in the gaps (physically) and calorically, they are in no way nutritionally equivalent to meat, seafood and eggs.

Make no mistake – I’m not even hinting that all meat inclusive diets are optimal or even marginally superior to vegetarian diets. Enough junk meat and meat products are available and most people find themselves eating plenty of crappy meat/meat products that health and nutrition are not anywhere close. But when one does make an attempt to start eating real food, the vegetarians face more of a challenge than the rest.

And if you’re wondering, this applies to me too. I live in India now which is more of a vegetarian society than anything else. Even meat eaters (affectionately called “NV” or non-vigitarians) are nothing more than vegetarians who eat a little  meat. That and the fact that quality meat is not easily available, forces me to eat a vegetarian diet for the most part.

So then the question is – what is an optimal vegetarian diet? And, not surprisingly, the answer to this question is the same as for the question – what is an optimal diet? An optimal diet (vegetarian or not) is one that provides the consumer with all the nutrients required for optimal functioning.

Focusing on the half that is full

All that said, an optimal vegetarian diet should…

  • Include plenty of vegetables, especially spinach and other greens since they are abundant in Vitamin K, Vitamin A and magnesium. While this is a rule that applies to both vegetarians and meat eaters alike, it needs to be more prominent in a vegetarian diet for the reason that since most vegetarian diets are dominated by grains, vegetables are almost non-existent. Most folks tend to eat a meal of rice/wheat with some form gravy and a tiny bit of vegetables and end up neglecting vegetables. Read this article about how the Indian vegetarian diet contains no vegetables!
  • Include a significant amount of fermented foods, especially dairy due to their richness in Vitamin B12. Fermented foods help by introducing beneficial bacteria into our gut (probiotics) and adding in such bacteria has shown to be extremely beneficial to health. Relief from lactose intolerance, protection against colon cancer, reduction in IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and urinogenital infection severity and frequency are some of the benefits. Also, vitamins available in foods are more readily available when the gut contains a healthy dose of beneficial bacteria. Whole milk yogurt/curd, natural aged cheeses, kefir, natto and tempeh are excellent choices for fermented vegetarian foods (provided they are made from top quality milk/soy beans).
  • Be rich in saturated fat. If you’re concerned/confused about saturated fat and its health consequences, read my article The Saturated Fat Scam which talks in length about why saturated fat isn’t harmful but abundantly healthy. Ghee, butter, coconut oil, coconut milk and coconut in any other form are foods that feature right at the top of the list of healthiest foods.
  • Include whole eggs. I’ve said this a million times and I will say it again – eggs are as awesome as awesome can get from a health perspective. Egg yolks are one of the healthiest foods anyone (especially vegetarians) can eat. Eggs yolks contain choline which is extremely critical for the body’s proper functioning, lutein which saves eyesight, contains essential fatty acids and healthy dose of cholesterol which, again, is a substance that is absolutely required for the body to function smoothly. Read this article by Arvind Ashok – Eat that yolk! – that talks plenty more about why you should eat whole eggs. And sorry, while the lack of protein due to an egg-less diet can be compensated for in many ways, I don’t have a nutritional substitute for eggs (especially yolks).
  • Supplement with fish oil. Fish oil is magic! It is rich in EPA & DHA (the important omega 3 fatty acids that you don’t get from flax seeds or walnuts) and Vitamins A and D and has health benefits ranging from protecting against cardiovascular diseases to protection against cancer to much improved joint health to protection against alzheimer’s and much more. I’ve written about this in the past and you can read this article to understand how beneficial fish oil truly is. While it is not in anyway a supplement, from a vegetarian’s perspective, it is best considered a medicine and gulped!
  • Obviously be devoid of allergens like gluten, industrially processed vegetable and seeds oils, preservatives, artificial sweeteners and sugars.
  • Obviously not be dependent on nutritionally inferior foods like grains.

So what might such a vegetarian diet look like?

Sample meal plan

For someone who is ~ 70 kg the following should satisfy pretty much all nutritional needs.

Breakfast

  • 1 cup whole milk (maybe coffee/tea) with 1 tsp sugar/honey
  • 2-3 idlies/dosas (or idiyappam or 1 cup poha/aval/white rice) with 3-4 tbls coconut chutney and 2 tsp ghee
  • 2-3 whole eggs with 30g cheese and 1 cup vegetables (Scrambled, omelet, sunny side up, baked, boiled, curry etc etc!)
  • 1-2 tsp cod liver oil

Lunch

  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups vegetables cooked in 1tbls coconut oil or ghee or butter
  • 1 cup sambar or rasam or daal
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 2 cups raw vegetables topped with 2 tsp olive oil/sesame oil (i.e. non lettuce real salad)
  • 1 medium fruit

Dinner

  • 2 cups vegetables cooked in 1tbls coconut oil or ghee or butter
  • 1 cup daal or beans or pulses pressure cooked with simple vegetables, without oil and topped with 1-2 tsp olive oil/sesame oil
  • 1 cup horsegram upma or sprouted pulses toasted with shredded coconut
  • 1 cup whole milk yogurt or raita
  • 1 medium fruit or a couple of dates or a square of dark chocolate.

Snack options

Firstly, snacks are unnecessary unless you’re actually trying to gain some weight. So snack only when absolutely required. That means, don’t look for something to munch just ‘cos you have nothing else to do. Snack if you’re unusually hungry between two meals or realize the next meal is too far away. Here are some awesome snack options which will keep you full and satisfied physically and nutritionally.

  •  2 cups mixed vegetable raita (1 cup raw cut mixed vegetables like cucumber, carrot, spinach, green mango etc + 1 cup whole milk yogurt + seasonings
  • 1 tender coconut or 1 cup salt lassi/lassi and a small fruit
  • Fruit & veg bowl – Cut up avocado, raw green mango, onions, carrots, banana stem & tomato. Top with some olive oil, lemon juice, salt and spice.
  • Flavored paneer cubes – Mix up a bunch of spices you like and toss the cubed paneer (like a dry rub) and pan fry using ghee for 2-3 min per side.
  • Mix up  10-15 chopped nuts, couple tablespoons of fresh shredded coconut, a tablespoon of raisins, pinch of salt and pepper
  • 30-40g cheese/tempeh with a cup of fresh fruit

Note: This is NOT a fat loss diet. This is meant to fix you health by fixing your gut and once you’re able to do that, well, fat loss is just a side effect of that good health you just achieved!

And just so we’re clear

  • 1 cup = 240 ml. Anytime someone tells me ‘1 cup vegetables’ they’re talking about a cup so small you can fit in like one pea and anytime (the same) someone says ‘1 cup rice’ they’re talking about a barrel so big you can easily fit in a truck! So FYI, 1 cup = 240 ml irrespective of what is in it!
  • If you weigh more or less, adjust accordingly.
  • If fat loss is the goal, eat starch only during the meal that is immediately post workout. On other meals, stick to vegetables, cheese, milk/yogurt, lentils and fruit and stop eating well before you’re full. The best foods to pull out of this plan (when looking to lose fat) are snacks, rice and fruit in that order.
  • If you feel starved, eat more of the good stuff. Stay away from starch when you don’t need it.
  • Depending on what your current nutritional deficiencies are and what diseases you suffer from presently, you will need different amounts of different foods. It is on you to figure that out.

So what do you think? Is this a template something you can stick to (80% of the time) for a lifetime? Are there more things you’d like on here? What else stops you from eating real food? Talk to me in the comments section!

Stay sane. Stay patient. Don’t be greedy for weight loss. Focus on food quality and you’ll give yourself the gift of lifelong health and fitness.

Peace out.

5min Breakfast Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs [cage free recommended]
  • Handful of chopped frozen or fresh peppers and/or other vegetables
  • Organic pasta sauce
  • About 1 oz of Mozzarella cheese
  • Salt, pepper, spices

Procedure:

  • Crack the eggs in a microwave safe bowl.
  • Add peppers (and/or other vegetables)
  • Add salt, pepper and spices
  • Cover and microwave on high for 2-3 min.
  • Remove lid, add cheese and top with pasta sauce.
  • Get a picture.

Nutrition:

  • Total calories ~ 250
  • Protein ~ 19 gm
  • Fat ~ 16 gm
  • Carbs negligible
  • Micronutrients: PLENTY from egg yolks and peppers (and/or other vegetables)

Say what?

  • Not enough fat? Top with some coconut oil/butter/olive oil and/or add in a couple of eggs.
  • Want more protein? Add meat to the mix or add a couple more eggs and some egg whites.
  • Crave sweet? Have a piece of fruit on the side.
  • Crappy photo? Yea so? The 5min included the photography.

Some Perspective:

  • My 5min breakfast was made of the following – eggs, peppers, cheese, tomato, onions, garlic, basil, salt, pepper and nothing more!
  • What was your breakfast made of? Do me a favor – look behind the box of your heart healthy cereal/oats/bread, jam, juice, bar etc and tell me what ingredients you see.

It’s too easy to eat right folks. One meal at a time… let’s go back to eating real food! From my side, I’ll try to post more such easy, healthy and delicious recipes moving forward… if, from your side, you will email me recipes that you come up with! What say? Do we have a deal?

Peace out!

Keepin it real…

In order to emphasize the importance of eating real food let’s compare a few diets.

The Kitavans:

  • We ate a diet of root vegetables, coconut, fruit, vegetables and fish.
  • 69% of our calories came from carbohydrate, 21% from fat and 10% from protein.
  • We had undetectable levels of cardiovascular disease (CVD), stroke and were always lean .
  • We never had to lie when our women asked ‘Do I look fat?’.
  • More info on the Kitavans here.

The Inuit:

  • We ate walrus, seal, beluga whale, caribou, polar bear, muskoxen, birds, eggs and fish.
  • We ate no vegetables, no fruit, no grain and no sugars.
  • 35-40% of our calories came from protein and 50-75% of our calories came from fat. We ate ZERO carbohydrates.
  • We had no chronic diseases.
  • More about the Inuit diet here.

The Okinawans:

  • We ate a diet which was naturally low in calories and low in fat.
  • Compared to the Japanese we ate 80% calories, 300% green/yellow vegetables and 25% sugars.
  • A lot of us lived past 100.
  • More about the Okinawans here.

The Americans:

  • Our diet is rich in processed food. We enjoy different cuisines.  We eat a lot of omega-6 fats, tonnes of sugar, artificial sweeteners.
  • We eat a high calorie diet and perform very little physical activity. We sit for the most part of the day because reality TV is the closest we get to reality.
  • Estimates for the year 2006 are that 81 million of us have one or more forms of cardiovascular disease (CVD). 73 million of us have high blood pressure.

The Indians:

  • Out diet consists of a lot of grains. Depending on which region we are from, our meals are built around rice or wheat. A lot of us are vegetarians and hence thrive on grains.
  • We lead sedentary lives with ~12hrs of sitting/day.
  • The number of diabetics in our country is greater than the population of 199 countries.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 60% of the world’s cardiac patients will be Indian by 2010.

The Chinese:

  • Out diet consists of a lot of rice and sauteed/fried meat.
  • We lead sedentary lives.
  • We have twice as much diabetics as The Indians. More than 92 million adults have diabetes and  nearly 150 million more are showing early symptoms.
  • Our death rate from coronary disease rose by 53.4 per cent from 1988 to 1996.
  • More than 20% of our children aged 7–17 years in big cities are now overweight or obese.

Clearly…

  • The aboriginals (Kitavans, Inuit and Okinawans) lived long and healthy lives.
  • The modern day man (Indians, Chinese and Americans) is diseased.

So…

  • As modern day humans, if we have any intentions of living disease free, we need to learn from the aboriginals.

What’s conflicting?

  • Some based their diets around vegetables, tubers and fruit while some based their diets purely around animal products.
  • Some ate super high carb (Kitavans and Okinawans) and some ate crazy high fat and almost zero carbs (Inuit).

What’s common?

  • They all ate real food!
  • They all led active lifestyles!

Seriously folks, for most people, it don’t matter if you eat a high fat diet or a high carb diet. Eating more clean and real food should be the first and major change in one’s diet!

There is so much drama in the fitness industry about the macro nutrient splits. Some experts advice you to eat little to no carbs while some others call BS on that and ask you to not worry about carbs and drop the fat. Truth is populations that lived healthy long lives did not count calories or macro nutrient percentages… but… they all ate whatever real food was available and moved!

What is real food and what is not?

  • Vegetables are real. V8 juice is NOT.
  • Fruits are real. Fruit juice is NOT.
  • Chicken is real. Chicken nuggets are NOT.
  • Almonds are real. Almond flour cookies are NOT.
  • Whole milk is real. Skim milk/soy milk is NOT.
  • Spinach is real. Spinach dip is NOT.
  • Coffee is real. Starbucks white chocolate mocha is NOT.
  • Eggs are real. Egg substitutes are NOT.
  • Garlic is real. Garlic croutons are NOT.
  • Cheese is real. Cheetos are NOT.
  • Saturated fats are real. Trans fats are NOT.
  • Sweet potatoes are real. Chips are NOT.
  • Honey is real. Corn syrup is NOT.
  • Water is real. Sparkling water/soda is NOT.
  • Tea is real. Raspberry lemon tea in a can with tonnes of sugar is NOT.
  • Apples are real. Apple pie is NOT.
  • Raspberries are real. Raspberry jelly is not.

You get the idea. I’m not asking you to eat and live exactly like the kitavans or the okinawans or the inuit or any other tribe for that matter. It’s stupid to not enjoy some of the delicious processed non-real-foods that are available today. Just don’t eat em everyday! This is where the 85/15 –> 95/5 rule and transitioning into clean eating helps.

FYI – I’m not a raw foodist in anyway. I believe food tastes best and provides the most nutrition when cooked. So please get the freshest cleanest ingredients, cook clean food and enjoy like there is no tomorrow!

Peace.

How bout a quickie…

beforefor breakfast I mean.

We saw how instant breakfasts mess our bodies up. Now let’s look at some super quick, healthy & delicious breakfast options that will kick those instant breakfasts in the nuts!

Under 5 min Breakfasts:

300 seconds…! Health you can cook up when your Windows XP boots up!

Option 1:
– 2 strings mozzarella cheese
– 1 slice sprouted grain bread toasted
– 1 tbls almond butter/peanut butter
Option 2:
– 1 cup milk
– 1 cup fruit
– 2 eggs (sunny side up or hard boiled)
Option 3:
Larabars are a good substitute for cereal bars.
Option 4:
– Mix 2 eggs, some frozen vegetables, 1/2 tbls olive oil, sat & spices in a cup/bowl. Microwave for 1-2 mins on high.
– Eat with 1 cup milk on the side
Option 5:
– In a bowl mix 1 cup cottage cheese and some fruit. Top with nuts.
Option 6:
– In a bowl mix 1 cup yogurt and some fruit. Top with nuts.

5-10 min Breakfasts:

How hard is it to wake up 10mins early? Or how hard is it to go to work 10mins late?
Option 1:
– Preheat oven to 375 C.
– Mix 2 eggs, some frozen vegetables, 1/2 tbls oil, sat & spices in a cup/bowl.
– Bake for 20-25 mins.
– Eat with glass of milk on the side.
Option 2:
– Preheat oven to 375 C.
– Mix 2 eggs & a handful of shredded cheese.
– Bake for 15-20 mins.
– Season with salt & spices to taste. Eat with glass of milk on the side.
Option 3:
– Place a slice of cheese or some shredded cheese on a slice of sprouted whole grain bread (or even almond bread!)
– Throw some pasta sauce & a bunch of vegetables on top.
– Broil in oven for 5-10 mins.
– Enjoy your bread pizza for breakfast.
Option 4:
– Preheat oven to 375 C.
– Place a handful of shredded cheese and a bunch of vegetables in a bowl.
– Add salt & spices to taste. Bake for 10-15 mins depending on vegetables used.
– Eat with glass of milk on the side.
Option 5:
– Blend 1 cup of milk, 1 scoop of whey isolate, 1 cup of fruit (apple or banana or berries or mixed fruits) & quarter cup of nuts (almonds, cashews etc.)
– Or make it the previous night and just grab & go in the morning.
Option 6:
– Fruit & cheese sandwich. Toasted bread, couple of slices of cheese & the fruits you love. Stack them up. Trust me… you’ll love it.

10-15mins Breakfasts:

A little longer than the previous ones. But definitely satiating & awesome. 15mins is not too much… your computer is probably still starting up if your on Windows Vista.
Option 1:
– Vegetable omelet with a cup of milk.
Option 2:
– Scramble two eggs with some salsa.
– On a corn taco place a handful of canned beans, the scrambled eggs & 1 tbls of sour cream. Munch!
Option 3:
– Cook eggs on a skillet… sunny side up works but make sure its not runny.
– Cut up some avocado.
– Avocado egg & cheese sandwich
Option 4:
– Get dosa batter (or make before hand!)
– Pour batter on skillet. Crack open an egg, dump a load of vegetables & sprinkle some shredded cheese on the batter while it is being cooked.
– Each dosa will be pretty giant. So have one or even two with a glass of milk and you’re good to go.
Option 5:
– In an electric rice cooker add rice (wild rice is the best), frozen vegetables, spices, some meat (if you like meat that is), a tablespoon of butter or olive oil and vegetable/chicken broth.
– Turn on.
– Eat fake biriyani for breakfast.


These are recipes that I have made and had for breakfast some time or the other. Try these out and I’m sure you will come up with your own twist.

Have a look at the ingredients used to make these breakfasts. Instant breakfasts (even with the added vitamins & minerals) cant hold a candle! Seriously… invest the little time required on food prep and get the monstrous health benefits. Try these recipes out for a couple of weeks and let me know how you like them.

Life’s more than eating crappy junk and feeling like shit all day! Get real and feel the difference for yourself.

Peace.

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