Focus on what you eat, Not Calories.


All of us have heard the term ‘calories’ and the jargon ‘count your calories’.  I wish weight loss and fitness was as simple as ‘calories in less calories out’. Counting calories is more likely to improve your math skill than your fitness level. Most of us, don’t even know that there is difference between ‘Calorie’ and ‘calorie.’. Not only is counting calories boring and confusing, but it is also inaccurate.

Just like all humans are not born with the same IQ and genetic traits, not all carrots, potatoes, papayas and bananas have the same calories. The soil it was grown in, the manure used, the season, ripeness at the time of harvest, time spent in transit before it reaches your plate and other factors play a significant role in determining the exact quantum of calories. The calories and nutrients from the milk of a cow that was fed grass and grazed freely is different from that of a cow that spent its life in a CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation), fed corn and other antibiotics.

The calories marked in any food/snack is a mere approximation. The exact calories in a given food can only be determined by burning that food in a bomb calorimeter. If we think practically, anyone will realize that the food industry does not burn an equal quantum of food that makes it to the aisles of the supermarkets just to ensure the calories mentioned on the packets are highly accurate.

Like each of us are unique; our metabolism, energy, calorie and nutrient needs are unique too. On some days we are stuck inside a meeting room or in front of the computer while on other days we are running around shopping, exercising in the gym, playing in the park with kids or some other sport. A ‘2000 calorie diet’ or ‘1200 calorie diet’ or any diet with such numbers does not suit such days.

Let’s not lose focus on the main and most important thing, ‘Nutrients’ and ‘Nutrient Density’. When you are eating the right amount of fresh home food, cooked carefully with good ingredients and served with love, calories will not matter. It is just the creation of the multibillion dollar industry that survives on the ‘low-cal/zero-cal’ food/drinks.

 Watch my video on this topic.

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Banana stem- The real detox food

Yes, you heard it right.

Here comes the detox food that people used for generations. The ‘tube light’ kind of stem that looks white and thin is loaded with nutrients and has antimicrobial properties.  The high fibre content is beneficial for people who feel bloated / constipated or have high cholesterol ,high BP and diabetes.

This has traditionally been used for those who have kidney / gall bladder stones. It also has proven wound healing properties.

This stem has the power to clean up the toxins in your liver and the whole GI tract, which will leave your skin glowing , acne free and boosts your digestive power & immunity.

So the next time you to detox your body as well as ease up your budget, go for the ‘vazhathandu / unnithandu / vazhapindi/plantain stem’. Cook according to your traditional cuisine, that will suit your palette. And yes you need to eat it, not just juice it and drink it.

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Have you eaten this before?


Hibiscus tea – Your cup of health


The most effective and safest way to reduce your blood pressure in those who have hypertension and heart ailments is hibiscus tea.

Why would you drink wine for heart health and anti-oxidants, which also contains alcohol and added sugar when a healthy natural drink like this is easily available?

Unlike most BP tablets that affect your memory, liver and kidney, this doesn’t. It’s great for those who have high LDL and currently take statin drugs. Not to mention about the side effects of statin drugs and its efficiency.

This need not be necessarily had only by those who have these diseases. This tea also gives you glowing hydrated skin and hair. Hibiscus flower has always been one of the main ingredients in any Ayurvedic hair oil or tonic.

People in India and other countries in the east used to consume this tea  long before cosmetics, hair dyes and conditioners came into existence. 

Hibiscus leaves are still used instead of shampoo, in many parts of India.

Recipe for Hibiscus Tea

1 Cup of water 

2-3 fresh/dry hibiscus flowers (Preferably red)

A spoon of lemon juice (for taste and to highlight the bright red colour)

A few spoons of honey/sugar

Boil the water for a few min and throw in the red petals and turn off the stove. The red petals will soon turn pale and then white. Filter the mixture and squeeze a few drops of lemon juice and mix a spoon of honey/cane sugar( Make sure honey is not added when the mixture is hot). The tea will taste similar to a diluted cranberry juice.

Continue this for a few weeks and notice the difference yourself.

For Weight loss, Nutrition assessments, consultation and fitness training, write to pavithrakarthik@outlook.com

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