Often many ask me the following
- Do you eat what all you have shown on this web-site?
- If you were eating, what is the secret for maintaining your figure and health?
When I share the secret that, I first fill my stomach with 125-150 grams of salad before each meal, they exclaim "SO SIMPLE, OH NOOO!!"
But, when it comes to adopting
the same, they remark, "IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO EAT LIKE A COW EVERY-DAY - 500 grams
of salads and fruits". Thereafter they continue to reel out the list of vegetables they take, their expenditure on greens and narrate how rich and nutritious curries are made at their homes.
In the above conversation, these friends miss two important clues, that in salads we generally EAT RAW VEGETABLES
and salads are to be taken BEFORE MAIN COURSE. The logic is simple. When we eat
salads first, the digestive juices in the stomach act on the raw vegetables with
full vigor. This reaction helps in absorbing the nascent vitamins and minerals
from the raw vegetables which are otherwise lost in (any form of) cooking. Because it
takes relatively longer time to chew the salad and eat, our hunger also subsides by the
time we reach the main course, and the stomach is half filled with salads by that time. Thus we are bound to eat less of main course dishes, which are comparatively spicy, rich & oily compared to salads.
There are a few myths & complaints about salads too. The one often heard is that it produces lot of GAS (flatulence) !!! With an anxiety to slim down and become healthy overnight, unless one wants to substitute his full course meals with salads, such GAS problems shouldn't arise. If only salads precede each main course meal, with a moderate exercise or walking during the day it should never be a problem.
People also opine that vegetables suitable for salads are far few in India, only to be counted like Onions, Cucumber, Carrots and Tomatoes. This perception is
limited because it is based on what they have seen in the hotels. They may not agree that one can as well add grated Raw Papaya,
Zuchini, Beetroot, Radish, Ashgourd, Bottle Gourd, Pumpkin etc. and also finely chopped Spring Onions, Garlic Sprouts & Shredded Cabbage, Capsicum etc. A host of many other vegetables and sprouts can also be added to
the salad bowl.The more the merrier!!
For dressing one needn't use only olive oil. Just add the oil in any of the achars / pickles at home like Avakaya or Magaya oil or even Mustard oil.
For spicing one needn't restrict only to pepper and salt, try chaat masala, grated ginger, lemon juice, finely chopped chillies, rock salt or a dash of spicy achar / pickle at home etc.
The way we cut the vegetables also
determines the texture and looks of the salad. They can be chopped, grated, shredded etc.
For a crunch you may add a few peanuts, salted, raw or soaked overnight.
For a change add hung-curd to the salad and be surprised at the outcome.
Salads can be made
attractive and tasty depending upon the number of ingredients you add. They can be spiced differently and dressed colorfully only to
be enjoyed. Contrary to the general belief, innovation in making salads is unlimited.
Minor variations bring in huge differences, like - cutting, dressing, spicing, with & without yogurt etc. Choice is yours!!!
Yes, "IF YOU WANT TO LIVE TO EAT (choice dishes), EAT (salads also) TO LIVE!!".
Every day I enjoy every bite of my bowlful of SALAD. At 45 years, this SALAD habit keeps me slim like this
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